Kikuyu grass (Pennisetum clandestinum) is a tough, warm-season grass that has coarse, light green blades. It thrives in Mediterranean climates and, because it spreads by rhizomes, seeds and stolons, has become an invasive pest in California. Kikuyu grass grows rapidly, up to 1 inch per day, and it challenging to control. Mowing the grass stimulates it to grow more, as cut stems regrow and mowers spread the seed.
Apply a preemergent herbicide, according to label directions, in March. Scientists at the University of California suggest using pendimethalin, benefin or bensulide. Preemergent herbicides will kill the seeds.
Spray kikuyu-infested turfgrass with a postemergent herbicide containing triclopyr and MSMA. Follow application rates and instructions on the package and repeat the application three more times during the year, four to six weeks apart.
Control kikuyu infestations in the ornamental bed by hand pulling the plants. They are easier to remove if the soil is wet. All parts of the plant have to be removed as it can regrow from even a tiny piece of stem.