Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →

How to Kill Kikuyu Grass

Kikuyu grass can grow an inch a day taking over your lawn and killing your good grass. Called "the superweed" in California, Kikuyu was first brought to California to control erosion. It is a very hardy weed that grows extremely fast in warm climates like southern California. The only thing in nature that can kill it is cold weather, which is absent from the areas that it thrives in. Kikuyu can be spread from mowers cutting it and carrying the cut Kikuyu grass blades to other areas and other lawns. Getting rid of Kikuyu grass can be difficult and expensive. Many people have learned to live with it, but with a lot of hard work and time, you can kill it.

Fill the tank sprayer with the weed/grass killer using the measuring cup and following the mixing instructions on the weed/grass killer bottle.

Put the top back on the sprayer and pump the handle to build up pressure in the sprayer.

Spray the areas of the lawn or garden where the Kikuyu grass is.

Wash and clean the tank sprayer and measuring cup when done spraying all the Kikuyu grass.

Rake the dead Kikuyu grass and other dead weeds and grass up a week after spraying.

Dispose of the dead grass and weeds in garbage bags.

Fill the tank sprayer with Turflon Ester using the measuring cup and following the mixing instructions on the Turflon Ester bottle.

Spray the areas of the lawn and garden where the Kikuyu grass used to be before you raked it up.

Clean the sprayer and measuring cup after you have finished spraying all the areas where the Kikuyu grass was.

Fill a fertilizer spreader with grass seed and thoroughly spread the seed onto the areas where you raked up the dead weeds and grasses.

Water the newly seeded areas on a regular basis to help the seeds sprout and grow new grass.


The best time to kill the Kikuyu grass and grow new grass is in the spring.

It's a good idea to spray Turflon Ester on your lawn once every spring. Turflon Ester (triclopyr) kills any weeds, including Kikuyu, before they emerge from the ground and grow.

If you only have a few stalks of Kikuyu grass growing, you can pull the Kikuyu rather than following the above steps. This may work but there could be Kikuyu roots that you didn't pull that can sprout again. To be safe, spot spray weed killer on small sections of Kikuyu.


The weed killer will not only kill the Kikuyu grass but also any other grasses, weeds or plants that are sprayed in the area. Unfortunately, this is the only effective way to kill Kikuyu. Do not spray around any plants or flowers that you don't want to die.

Garden Guides