The epitaxial growth of yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ) on silicon with native oxide was investigated in order to gain more insight in the growth mechanism. Specifically, attention was paid to the possibilities to control the chemical interactions between YSZ, silicon and oxygen during initial growth. The sources of oxygen during growth proved to play an important role in the growth process, as shown by individual manipulation of all sources present during Pulsed Laser Deposition. Partial oxidation of the YSZ plasma and sufficient delivery of oxygen to the growing film were necessary to prevent silicide formation and obtain optimal YSZ crystalline qualities. In these conditions, thickness increase of the silicon native oxide before growth just started to occur, while a much faster regrowth of silicon oxide at the YSZ-Si interface occurred during growth. Control of all these contributions to the growth process is necessary to obtain reproducible growth of high quality YSZ.