Compare Sod Types
Perennial Ryegrass vs. Zoysia Sod

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 Perennial Ryegrass sod
Perennial Ryegrass
Close up photo of Zoysia sod


Which costs more, Perennial Ryegrass or Zoysia sod?

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.

Perennial Ryegrass on the other hand, is a more moderately priced at $0.48 per square foot (on average). This comes out to around $237.50 per pallet.

Perennial RyegrassBudget Friendly
from$0.30 / sq ft
to$0.65 / sq ft
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.

Sun & Shade

Which grass grows better in the shade?

Perennial Ryegrass can survive with 4 to 6 hours of sunlight per day and is moderately shade-tolerant, coping well with partial shade.

Perennial Ryegrass
Shade Tolerance6 / 10
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.


Which one looks better? You decide.

When choosing between sods like Perennial Ryegrass (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:

Perennial Ryegrass close up imageZoysia close up image

Perennial Ryegrass offers a bright green lawn with fine blades that grow quickly into a soft, welcoming turf perfect for everything from picnics to soccer games.

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?

Perennial Ryegrass has limited drought tolerance and may require regular watering to maintain its lush appearance.

Perennial Ryegrass
Drought Tolerance3 / 10
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 Perennial Ryegrass and Zoysia.

Grow Zones

Cold or warm weather - which do they prefer?

Perennial Ryegrass generally grows better in cool or moderate climates. The ideal temperature range for laying Perennial Ryegrass sod is between 55°F and 80°F.

Perennial Ryegrass
transition zones
cool zones
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 Perennial Ryegrass and Zoysia thrive under pretty similar climatic conditions!

Lawn Traffic Tolerance

Which sod handles heavy foot traffic better?

Perennial Ryegrass is highly traffic tolerant, recovering quickly from wear and tear, a solid choice for lawns that double as weekend soccer pitches.

Perennial Ryegrass
Traffic Tolerance9 / 10
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, Perennial Ryegrass is the better option between Perennial Ryegrass and Zoysia.

Establishment Rate

Which grass grows faster?

Perennial Ryegrass germinates rapidly and establishes quickly, offering a fine-textured, vibrant green turf that is popular for overseeding and cool-season lawns.

Perennial Ryegrass
Establishment Rate9 / 10
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, Perennial Ryegrass is the way to go.

Pest & Disease Resistance

Which handles pests better?

Perennial Ryegrass is generally hardy against pests and diseases, but it can experience problems with gray leaf spot and is attractive to webworms and billbugs.

Perennial Ryegrass
Resistance6 / 10
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.

Which Is Best?

Which sod is better, Perennial Ryegrass 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: 8 for Perennial Ryegrass, 4 for Zoysia
  • Shade Tolerance: 6 for Perennial Ryegrass, 6 for Zoysia
  • Drought Tolerance: 3 for Perennial Ryegrass, 8 for Zoysia
  • Traffic Tolerance: 9 for Perennial Ryegrass, 8 for Zoysia
  • Establishment Rate: 9 for Perennial Ryegrass, 4 for Zoysia
  • Pest & Disease Resistance: 6 for Perennial Ryegrass, 7 for Zoysia

Drumroll please...

All in all, Perennial Ryegrass comes out on top with a score of 41/60 versus 37/60 for Zoysia.

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

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

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Which is better for dogs, Perennial Ryegrass or Zoysia sod?

Both Perennial Ryegrass and Zoysia are great options for dogs! They are both durable and can handle the wear and tear that comes with having a pet.

Will Perennial Ryegrass overgrow Zoysia?

Neither Perennial Ryegrass nor Zoysia are particularly aggressive growers. Zoysia is not likely to overtake Perennial Ryegrass, and vice versa.

Can you mix Perennial Ryegrass and Zoysia sod?

It's not recommended to mix Perennial Ryegrass and Zoysia sod. Mixing sod types can lead to uneven appearance and issues with lawn health. It's best to choose Perennial Ryegrass or Zoysia sod and stick with it.

Which costs more, Perennial Ryegrass or Zoysia sod?

Neither Perennial Ryegrass nor Zoysia are particularly expensive or cheap at between $250.00 - $375.00 per pallet. Zoysia and Perennial Ryegrass both offer a balance between cost and characteristics.

Is Perennial Ryegrass or Zoysia sod better for shade?

Neither Perennial Ryegrass nor Zoysia are particularly tolerant of shade; however, they aren't at the bottom of the pack either. The heartiness of Zoysia and Perennial Ryegrass will come down to how much sunlight your lawn gets.

What are the main differences between Perennial Ryegrass and Zoysia?

The main differences between Perennial Ryegrass and Zoysia are in their cost effectiveness, drought tolerance, and establishment rate. Perennial Ryegrass performs better in establishment rate, while Zoysia performs better in cost effectiveness and drought tolerance.