How to Get Rid of Bermuda Grass While Not Killing Anything Else


Bermuda grass (Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers.) is used in many countries throughout the world as turf for lawns, parks and sports fields. It has a vigorous root system that extends deep into the ground via rhizomes. While Bermuda grass is a preferred lawn in many instances, its growth in flower beds, gardens or among another grass type in your lawn is likely not welcome. The key to removing Bermuda grass successfully is persistence. Unless you kill all the rhizomes, the grass will establish itself again.

Manual Removal

Step 1

Cut the sections of Bermuda grass out of the lawn with a sod cutter. Pull up the pieces of sod, removing as much of the root system as possible in the process. If the Bermuda grass is in a flower bed or garden, pull the grass out by hand, trying to capture as much of the root as possible.

Step 2

Dig the soil, with a shovel, to a depth of 6 inches. Pull out any rhizomes you encounter in the soil.

Step 3

Cover the bare soil with pieces of clear plastic and weigh the edges downs with rocks.

Step 4

Keep the plastic in place for four to six weeks. This process is called solarization, and will kill any remaining rhizomes that emerge with the heat of the sun.

Herbicide Method

Step 1

Apply a grass-selective herbicide directly onto the Bermuda grass. Spray the grass when it is less than 6 inches tall.

Step 2

Water the Bermuda grass regularly. The herbicide works best when the grass is free of dust and growing vigorously.

Step 3

Reapply the herbicide when any remaining Bermuda grass reaches 6 inches in height. Continue to irrigate the grass regularly.

Step 4

Monitor the Bermuda grass. If any new growth emerges, spray it again with the herbicide at 6 inches in height. Once all the Bermuda grass is dead, pull the grass out by hand.

Tips and Warnings

  • Read the label of the grass-selective herbicide before application. While it is safe to use around most flowers, shrubs and trees, the product may list some species that will be affected. Do not use grass-selective herbicides on or near ornamental grasses.

Things You'll Need

  • Sod cutter
  • Shovel
  • Plastic
  • Rocks
  • Grass-selective herbicide
  • Grass seed (optional)


  • University of Texas at Austin: Mr. Smarty Plants
  • University of California: Bermudagrass
  • Texas A & M University: Bermudagrass

Who Can Help

  • Ohio State University Extension: Lawn Grass Cultivar Selection
Keywords: kill Bermuda grass, Bermuda grass herbicide, grass-selective herbicide

About this Author

Sophia Darby is a former professional hairstylist who has spent the last six years writing hair-related articles for both online and print publications. Her work has appeared in Celebrity Hairstyles Magazine, as well as multiple websites.