En EspaŅol

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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
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 Invasive Plants Questions

Problems with pink oxalis in Austin
April 12, 2010 - I have a bed of pink oxalis. The leaves are turning rusty and withering. It is spreading. Can you tell me how to remedy this?
view the full question and answer

Native replacement for bamboo from Houston
May 21, 2013 - I've read one reply where you do not advise using Bamboo as a privacy fence plant. What do you suggest in its place? The suggestions on the one I read will not work for me. Your suggestions were My...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen hedge for constant rain
June 24, 2008 - We live in Washington State up north by Canadian border. We need a hedge that will survive the constant rain. We have tried cedar. They seem to turn brown and die,one at a time so we keep replacing th...
view the full question and answer

Something to grow under a chinaberry tree
August 29, 2008 - I have a huge Chinaberry on the west side of the house. We enjoy the shade it provides and have it limbed up pretty high, but it's located between two 2-story houses and of course drops buckets of it...
view the full question and answer

Introduced invasive Melia azedarach along Shoal Creek in Austin
April 17, 2007 - Along the Shoal Creek Trail in Austin are many flowering trees with sparse clusters of small pink/purple, star-shaped flowers with a dark red center stalk, blooming now in April. They have a fragrance...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center