Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →

Bahia Grass

grass image by Thomas Quinlan from

How Do I Kill Bahia Grass?

The scientific name for bahia grass is Paspalum notatum, a species of plant that is indigenous to Mexico and South America. The grass will generally have a V-shape at the end of the blade and it is distinctive for being inflorescent, which means that the V-shaped racemes (a term used to describe the spike-like flowers that make up the V-shape) grow apart from each other in an outward cluster.

Purchase a preventative growth control chemical from a home and garden store. Glyphosate is the best option; it is manufactured under several brand names, including Touchdown 5 and Roundup UltraMax.

Disperse about 2 to 6 oz. of it per acre. This will help control the growth of the bahia grass as opposed to outright killing it. The glyphosate will also cause minimal to no damage to your other grass and plant life.

Wait about two months for the diminished growth to become noticeable. When using a small dosage, results will take more time to see. If the growth of the bahia grass is continuing at the same rate, you can add a larger amount of the glyphosate to the grass (about 10 oz.), bearing in mind that this has a higher risk for causing the surrounding grass to yellow.

How to Fertilize Bahia Grass

Test your soil before you apply fertilizer on your Bahia grass. Your local university’s horticulture department should have soil testing available. This will help you determine what type of fertilization needs your Bahia grass has. Florida State University suggests having your soil tested once a year.

Apply a complete fertilizer that meets your soils needs 2 weeks after your Bahia grass begins to grow for spring. Apply 1 lb. of slow release fertilizer for every 1,000 square feet. Apply fertilizer evenly over the entire lawn.

Apply another 1 lb. for every 1,000 square feet application of the same complete slow release fertilizer in the late spring.

Apply one more application of the same complete slow release fertilizer using the same amount, 1 lb. per 1,000 square feet, in the mid summer. If you live in a climate with a longer growing season you can add another application of fertilizer in the early fall.


Bahia grass is prone to iron deficiency. Be sure your fertilizer contains iron so your Bahia grass will not turn yellow.


Do not apply a heavy nitrogen based fertilizer to Bahia grass too early or late in its growing season or the nitrogen may harm the grass' growth.

Does Bahia Grass Spread by Roots

Bahia grass (Paspalum notatum), a warm-season perennial turfgrass, spreads by rhizomes--horizontal, underground, rootlike stems--and stolons--above-ground, modified stems. Bahia grass, hardy to USDA zone 8B, prefers full sun to partial shade, and various soils.

How Often Should I Put Milorganite Fertilizer on Bahia Sod?

Sunrise in bahia image by Torsting from

Bahia is a warm-season grass requiring four fertilizer applications of Milorganite annually for best growth. Apply an application in early spring, early summer, late summer and early fall, at least one month before any anticipated frosts, according Milorganite Company.

When to Cut Bahia Grass for Hay?

hay image by dinostock from

Bahia grass (Paspalum notatum) is not considered a quality grass for hay. Of bahia varieties, 'Tifton -9' is more suitable than other types, and should be planted early in spring for a summer harvest. Cut grass for hay during the “boot stage,” April/June and again 4 to 6 weeks later.

What Does the Root System of Bahia Grass Look Like?

grass image by ana malin from

Bahia grass forms a deep, fibrous root system that looks like frayed yarn fibers. The grass spreads through stolon, also called runner, growth. But, the main root system of Bahia grass consists of horizontal-growing stems that form just above and below the ground.

Garden Guides