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How to Manage Pests

The UC Guide to Healthy Lawns

Bermudagrass (Seeded and hybrid species) — Cynodon spp.

Photo of bermudagrass

Qualities

Bermudagrass is a warm-season grass well adapted to warm regions of California. It does best in full sun and high temperatures. During periods of extended low temperatures, bermudagrass will turn brown. In areas where bermudagrass is well adapted, it is very water-efficient and has few pest problems. Both seeded and hybrid varieties are durable and withstand heavy use during the spring, summer, and early autumn months when they are actively growing, but they can be severely damaged from traffic during the winter months when they are not growing, giving weeds a chance to invade. Seeded bermudagrass can be a troublesome invader of garden areas.

Identifying tips

A medium to coarse-textured gray-green grass. Leaves are folded in the bud. Hybrids are more fine-textured and vary in color from deep blue-green to dark green. Bermudagrass varieties lack auricles, have ligules made up of a fringe of hairs, and have leaf blades with pointed tips. The sheaths are split, loose, and round to compressed with a tuft of hair at the collar. Bermudagrass loses its color and becomes dormant in most locations during the cooler months of late autumn and winter. It spreads both by rhizomes and stolons.

Maintenance

Low to high maintenance. Seeded bermudagrass requires only moderate levels of nitrogen and infrequent watering. Hybrid varieties are higher maintenance than the common type because they require more nitrogen and a closer and more frequent mowing cut. Regular edging will keep hybrids contained. Bermudagrass has a low tolerance for shade and cold temperatures, but it can tolerate drought conditions and high temperatures. Bermudagrass has a high tolerance for salinity.

Illustration of collar region of bermudagrass
Collar of bermudagrass
Illustration of overall plant of bermudagrass
Overall plant structure of bermudagrass

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