Kikuyu Grass Disease and Maintenance Tips

A picture of a well manicured kikuyu grass

Kikuyu grass is a native East African plant, preferred for its aesthetic beauty, and ability to adapt to a wide range of conditions. It can be used in public parks, golf courses, railway line shoulders, and planted on the roadside. 

Kikuyu grass can be planted in a wide range of climatic conditions because it can adapt to its surroundings. For example, when grown in cold climatic regions, it will form a dense sod, but it will not form a dense sod when planted in warm climate regions. 

Essential Characteristics of Kikuyu Grass

The grass is known for its broad dark green leaves that fold inwards at the midrib. In some countries, such as Kenya, the grass is male sterile. This means that the grass does not produce pollen. One disadvantage of this trait is that the grass will be manually planted because they do not have seeds.

On the other hand, the advantage of planting a male sterile grass is that you do not require to frequently lawn it. In addition, it will reduce the risk of having allergic reactions and unsightly seed heads on your lawn.

It Subdues Weeds

Kikuyu grass will subdue weeds if it is grown in high-altitude areas. In high-altitude areas, the grass tends to grow laterally. When the grass is grown in low altitude areas, weeds tend to thrive because the grass leaves spaces in between.

It has Low Shade Tolerance 

Kikuyu grass should be planted in areas with full sun exposure because it has low shade tolerance. In simple terms, shade tolerance is the ability of a given plant to thrive in low light levels. 

It is Heat and Drought Tolerant

If the grass is being planted in drought-prone areas, we advise that the lawn be adequately fertilised and adequately irrigated. When this is done, you will have a densely grown lawn which will reduce evaporation during the dry season.

Kikuyu Grass Yellow Disease 

A picture of kikuyu grass that has been infected by the yellow disease

One of the most common diseases that affect the Kikuyu grass is the yellow disease. The Kikuyu yellow disease is a fungal infection that affects the root system resulting in root rot.

The Kikuyu yellow disease thrives in damp soil and spreads using waterborne spores from one plant to the other. 

Preventing Yellow Disease

Though there are no known fungicides that can eradicate the yellow disease, there are measures that you can take to prevent the disease from spreading. The first is to ensure that the affected soil is isolated from the rest of the lawn.

When spotting an infected patch, avoid walking through it, especially during the rainy season. This is to prevent spreading the fungal to healthier plants. If the problem persists, try growing a different variety of Kikuyu grass.

Kikuyu Grass Maintenance Tips

If you have planted Kikuyu grass, there are a few things that you can do to ensure your lawn is well maintained. These are:

  • Regularly cut the grass during the rainy season
  • Each time you mow, ensure you rake and collect the clippings
  • During the hot and dry season, only mow when the grass is tall enough
  • Avoid cutting the grass when it is wet

To know more about Kikuyu grass and how to plant it, do not hesitate to contact our team for a free consultative session. 

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