Elephant grass is considered an invasive species, given its persistence in spreading and killing native vegetation. When left uncontrolled, elephant grass can create bamboo-like stalks that are hard to cut down. Brought from Africa, elephant grass is often found on roadsides and around wet areas. If you have elephant grass that you do not plan to use for animal grazing, kill the grass before it overtakes your property.
Mow the elephant grass as close to the ground as you can with a lawnmower or brush hog once the grass surpasses its growing season. Ideally, this is after the first frost. Cutting the grass after the growing season will prevent grass seed from becoming airborne and seeding surrounding areas.
Rake and remove all the cut grass from the area.
Apply an herbicide to the freshly mowed grass to kill it. There are many commercial herbicides on the market. Follow the dosing recommendations on the packaging to maximise the effect of the herbicide.
Till the area, after the grass turns brown, with a motorised tiller to eradicate the root system of the elephant grass. Repeat tilling after the spring thaw.
Plant grass seed in the affected area to prevent the elephant grass seed from coming back.
- Queensland Government; Elephant Grass; September 2007
- Stephanie Schantz; Sales Representative, Dan Schantz Greenhouse; Allentown, Pennsylvania