Sod Comparison & Differences
Kentucky Bluegrass vs. Zoysia

Let's dive into a side-by-side comparison of these two grasses. We're looking at everything from cost and looks to how well they stand up to drought, shade, and foot traffic. Stick around to see which one comes out on top!

Close up photo of Kentucky Bluegrass sod
Kentucky Bluegrass
vs
Close up photo of Zoysia sod
Zoysia

Cost

Which grass is typically more expensive, Kentucky Bluegrass or Zoysia?

Between these two, Zoysia is typically on the pricier side with an average cost per square foot of $0.73. On a per pallet basis, which is usually how sod is sold, this comes out to roughly $362.50 per pallet.

Kentucky Bluegrass on the other hand, is a more moderately priced at $0.52 per square foot (on average). This comes out to around $262.50 per pallet.

Kentucky BluegrassBudget Friendly
from$0.35 / sq ft
to$0.70 / sq ft
Zoysia
from$0.55 / sq ft
to$0.90 / sq ft

Editor's note: It's important to remember that both of these are averages based on data from around the country so cost can vary depending on your location. Keep in mind this doesn't include other fees like delivery or installation.

See our sod calculator to get a comprehensive sod estimate.

Shade Tolerance

Which grass grows better in the shade?

Kentucky Bluegrass does best with 4 to 6 hours of sunlight, but some shade-tolerant varieties can withstand light shade without significant thinning.

Kentucky Bluegrass
Shade Tolerance4 / 10
Zoysia
Shade Tolerance6 / 10

On the other hand, Zoysia Grass is versatile, withstanding shaded areas quite well; it stays healthy with about 4 to 5 hours of sun but prefers a bit more light when possible.

Appearance

Which one looks better? You decide.

When choosing between sods like Kentucky Bluegrass (pictured top) and Zoysia (pictured bottom), personal preference plays a significant role, but understanding the nuances of each type's appearance can guide your decision. Here's what to consider:

Kentucky Bluegrass close up imageZoysia close up image

Kentucky Bluegrass comes in with a lush, blue-green color and fine texture, forming a dense turf that's not only a treat for the eyes but also kind to your feet.

Zoysia Grass is thick and lush, sporting a deep green color and finer blades that cushion your steps, making for a plush, inviting lawn to walk and play on.

Drought Tolerance

Which one needs more water?

Kentucky Bluegrass has moderate drought tolerance; it can struggle in extreme dryness but will go dormant and can recover with adequate watering.

Kentucky Bluegrass
Drought Tolerance5 / 10
Zoysia
Drought Tolerance8 / 10

On the other hand, Zoysia Grass is quite drought tolerant, able to stay green with less water and recover well when conditions improve.

Takeaway: If you're located in a somewhat dry and arid geographic region and are looking for a grass that can handle drought-like conditions, Zoysia is the better option between Kentucky Bluegrass and Zoysia.

Grow Zones

Cold or warm weather - which do they prefer?

Kentucky Bluegrass generally grows better in cool or moderate climates. The ideal temperature range for laying Kentucky Bluegrass sod is between 60°F and 75°F.

Kentucky Bluegrass
transition zones
cool zones
Zoysia
warm zones
transition zones

Zoysia is well-suited for growth in warm or moderate climates. When it comes to laying sod, the ideal range for Zoysia is between 70°F and 90°F. If you choose to lay outside of the ideal range, you can still have success, but it may take a longer time to esablish and require a bit more maintenance.

As you may have noticed, both Kentucky Bluegrass and Zoysia thrive under pretty similar climatic conditions!

Traffic Tolerance

Which sod handles heavy foot traffic better?

Kentucky Bluegrass is quite traffic-tolerant, resiliently springing back and self-repairing, making it great for homes that enjoy an active outdoor space.

Kentucky Bluegrass
Traffic Tolerance7 / 10
Zoysia
Traffic Tolerance8 / 10

Similarly, Zoysia Grass is a champion of foot traffic tolerance, withstanding heavy use and bouncing back well from wear, making it ideal for busy yards and public spaces.

Takeaway: If you're looking for a grass that can handle heavy foot traffic, Zoysia is the better option between Kentucky Bluegrass and Zoysia.

Establishment Rate

Which grass grows faster?

Kentucky Bluegrass takes its time to establish, but its ability to self-repair through underground stems called rhizomes makes it a lush, durable lawn option for cooler climates.

Kentucky Bluegrass
Establishment Rate5 / 10
Zoysia
Establishment Rate4 / 10

Zoysia grass, characterized by its fine texture and high drought tolerance, establishes slowly but creates a dense, wear-resistant turf ideal for warm, temperate areas.

Net, net - if you're looking for a grass that establishes quickly, Kentucky Bluegrass is the way to go.

Pest & Disease Resistance

Which handles pests better?

Kentucky Bluegrass can be prone to pests like billbugs and diseases like rust, requiring attentive maintenance to identify and treat issues early.

Kentucky Bluegrass
Resistance6 / 10
Zoysia
Resistance7 / 10

Zoysia Grass is well-regarded for its pest resistance, particularly to chinch bugs and grubs, but can occasionally suffer from diseases like brown patch in humid conditions.

TLDR - if you're looking for a grass that wards off pests and disease, Zoysia edges out the competition.

Let's Pick a Winner

Which sod is better, Kentucky Bluegrass or Zoysia?

Alright it's time to count the scores up.

Most blogs or articles are going to give you a wishy washy "it's up to you" speil. That is definitely true. You'll need to choose based on your geographic conditions and what you like most looks-wise.

That being said, if we just compare the scores based on the following measures. Higher is better in this case.

  • Average Cost: 7 for Kentucky Bluegrass, 4 for Zoysia
  • Shade Tolerance: 4 for Kentucky Bluegrass, 6 for Zoysia
  • Drought Tolerance: 5 for Kentucky Bluegrass, 8 for Zoysia
  • Traffic Tolerance: 7 for Kentucky Bluegrass, 8 for Zoysia
  • Establishment Rate: 5 for Kentucky Bluegrass, 4 for Zoysia
  • Pest & Disease Resistance: 6 for Kentucky Bluegrass, 7 for Zoysia

Drumroll please...

All in all, Zoysia comes out on top with a score of 37/60 versus 34/60 for Kentucky Bluegrass.

Thanks for reading! If you have any feedback or corrections for us, please email our editor at editor@sodcalculator.com.