Yellow nutsedge and kyllinga are two weeds that are sometimes confused with each other. Keep reading to learn the similarities and differences of the two, as well as how to control them both.

Yellow Nutsedge Identification

Yellow nutsedge is a perennial sedge that emerges in soil temperatures between 60°F and 65°F. It spreads via seeds, rhizomes, and tubers, though tubers are its primary source of reproduction.

Yellow nutsedge grows up to twice as fast as turfgrass, which makes it especially noticeable and annoying. It has triangular, upright stems and waxy three-ranked leaves that are pointed at the tips. Yellow nutsedge produces tall, yellow flowerheads, which is where it gets its name.

Yellow nutsedge seeds are not particularly viable, but its tubers make up for that. When tuberization occurs in late summer or early fall, yellow nutsedge reproduces rapidly. A single yellow nutsedge plant can produce hundreds of tubers in one season, and the tubers can remain viable for three years or more. 

Yellow Nutsedge Control

Yellow nutsedge thrives in wet soils. For this reason, low areas and leaky irrigation heads can contribute to an infestation. Yellow nutsedge can also grow in mulch beds. Focus on drainage for cultural prevention of yellow nutsedge.

For curative chemical control, translocating herbicides are the best option. These herbicides can get control of those pesky tubers by reaching them through the photosynthesis process. 

One control option for yellow nutsedge is Celero, a sedge-specific herbicide that’s safe on both warm- and cool-season grasses. It’s best applied after shoots emerge but before the plants begin producing tubers. Another option is Dismiss NXT herbicide, which specifically targets tubers to get an infestation under control. Apply Dismiss once soil temperatures (at two inches deep) exceed 65°F for seven consecutive days.

Kyllinga Identification

Often mistaken for yellow nutsedge, kyllinga is another perennial sedge. It doesn’t have the troublesome tubers that yellow nutsedge has, but it spreads quickly via seeds and rhizomes. According to the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources, each kyllinga plant can produce as many as 5,000 seeds in one season. Unlike yellow nutsedge, kyllinga has a prostrate growth pattern that forms a mat over the ground. 

Kyllinga also produces triangular stems and flowerheads, but its flowerheads are smaller than those of yellow nutsedge. Unlike yellow nutsedge, kyllinga seeds are very viable and help the plant spread aggressively.

Kyllinga Control

Because of its matlike growth pattern, kyllinga favors close mowing conditions. Like yellow nutsedge, kyllinga thrives in wet soils. Both of these weeds may be a sign of drainage issues or an easy fix such as overwatering.

Although kyllinga doesn’t have tubers like yellow nutsedge does, systemic herbicides are still a good control method. They can keep the rhizomatous spread of kyllinga under control.

Celero and Dismiss NXT are both excellent for post-emergent control of kyllinga as well as yellow nutsedge. Another good option for kyllinga is Tribute Total, which is labeled for use on bermudagrass and zoysiagrass. Kyllinga tends to be more problematic in warm-season turfgrass, so Tribute is a good option for warm-season grasses.

If you need help identifying a weed in your customer’s lawn, distinguishing between yellow nutsedge and kyllinga, or selecting the best product for any situation, your ATS sales rep can help! Contact them today with any questions.