En Español

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

Getting rid of Adams needle (Yucca filamentosa)
June 24, 2009 - My friend is changing her flower beds around and is wanting to eliminate an Adam's needle that has been there for several years. She has already dug it up and now is trying to get rid of all the new...
view the full question and answer

Getting rid of skunk cabbage in Hopedale OH
April 22, 2010 - How can someone get rid of skunk cabbage?
view the full question and answer

Eradication of invasive thistles in Parma OH
July 11, 2010 - Lawn is full of prickly weeds with very deep roots. May be called Scotch Thistle, although id is not confirmed. They will grow as tall as they can amid other plants, and when mowed in the lawn, they...
view the full question and answer

Controlling live oak suckers in Florida
July 20, 2014 - How do I kill emerging live oak sprouts coming from mature tree root system
view the full question and answer

Want to identify thorny vines growing in Charlotte Hall, MD
April 25, 2013 - I have vines with thorns growing in my wood, vining around the trees and killing them. It grows and vines go up trees of any height all the way to the top. It has green pointy leaves. If it doesn't...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center