Rent Shop Volunteer Join

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - July 13, 2010

From: Beaumont, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Invasive Plants, Problem Plants
Title: Getting rid of bermudagrass
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

How do I get rid of bermuda grass in my San Augustine grass?

ANSWER:

Bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon), a non-native, is very persistent and invasive.  Not only does it reproduce from seeds but also from stolons above ground and rhizomes below ground that, if broken off a growing plant, can take root and grow in another place—thus, it is very difficult to eliminate.  Of course, you already know this and, I'm sorry, but we aren't going to be able to give you a magic silver bullet to get rid of it.  The difficulty in fighting bermudagrass is increased when it is encroaching on other plants that you want to keep.  You obviously can't stop watering it to kill it since your other grass would die also.  You can't use plastic to solarize it and kill it because that would also kill the St. Augustine.  You are pretty much left with physically removing it or using herbicides.  You can read one of the best articles, How to Manage Pests in Gardens and Landscapes: Bermudagrass, on controlling bermudagrass from the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources Integrated Pest Management Program.  This article gives in detail the whens and hows of applying the herbicides and which ones to use.  There are herbicides that act against grasses but not against broadleafed landscape plants, but there aren't any, as far as I know, that will act specifically on bermudagrass and not also affect your St. Augustine.  If you have concentrated areas of bermudagrass, you might be able to use the solarization or tilling method on those areas to kill it and then be diligent about removing any new plants that appear so that your other grass has a chance to cover the area. If you have small patchy areas scattered throughout your lawn, then hand removal will  with careful herbicide application to individual plants will be the best method.

Here are some other articles on controlling bermudagrass:

Controlling Bermuda Grass by Donald Burger, Houston, TX

Bermudagrass Control from Utah State Universitiy Cooperative Extension

Bermudagrass Control from University of Arizona Cooperative Extension Service

 

 

More Problem Plants Questions

Should Mexican milkweed (Asclepias curassavica) not be used to attract Monarch butterflies?
November 20, 2015 - Should I remove Asclepias curassavica (Mexican milkweed) in my garden for threat of OE parasitic protozoan threat to Monarch butterflies? Is this threat as widespread as Chronicle implies? I had great...
view the full question and answer

Germination of Sophora seeds, and Dodder identification in Kingsland, TX.
May 02, 2012 - Our Mt. Laurel has just produced seeds. Can those be scarified and planted now or do they have to dry out. Also what is the stringy orange substance that gets on bluebonnets and other wildflowers ...
view the full question and answer

What is the orange vine that is covering the wildflowers from Llano, TX?
April 10, 2012 - What is the invasive orange vine that is covering the wildflowers on Texas highways?
view the full question and answer

Removal of Ashe juniper trees
April 19, 2015 - I have 15 acres with scattered huge oak and elm trees with tens of thousands of Ashe Juniper (cedar) trees 2 to 10 in diameter growing within the drip zone of the hardwoods. How do I take out the c...
view the full question and answer

Magnolia species are allelopathic
August 02, 2014 - Have a healthy Southern Magnolia tree around 8 years old. It seems like everything I plant next to it dies.: Variegated Spirea, Stokes Aster, Hydrangeas. Is there something it secretes like the waln...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.