Couch vs Kikuyu Grass: Which to Choose for Your Lawn?

Both varieties are fast-growing and very hardy – perfect for high-traffic areas.

Featured image: Kikuyu Grass

Couch and Kikuyu are both widely used types of grass in Australia.

In this article, we’ll cover the pros and cons of each to help you make the best decision for your yard.

What is Couch Grass?

Couch grass is one of the most popular types of grass in Australia. Common varieties include Santa Ana Couch and Nullarbor Couch Grass.

It is used extensively in home gardens because it grows fast and can be mowed to almost any height.

Couch grass | Lawn care
Couch grass

Couch is also popular thanks to its fine, soft blades that make it great for sitting on, or for kids and pets.

It can be established as a new lawn or used to repair bare patches in existing lawns.

Couch grass is a warm-season grass that grows best in soil that has been well fertilized. The seedlings grow quickly and produce tender leaves with thin stems.

It grows best in warm climates in full sun – it doesn’t tolerate shady areas.

Couch is very drought resistant and can handle hot temperatures well.

This type of grass is susceptible to disease and weed infestation, so sometimes comes with additional maintenance requirements.

What is Kikuyu Grass?

Kikuyu is a very hardy and durable variety of grass that can handle a lot of traffic, which makes it ideal for home lawns where children and pets will be playing outside every day.

The most popular sub-variety is Eureka Kikuyu. It has broad, dark green leaves with a waxy sheen.

Kikuyu is a fast growing, aggressive type of grass that’s commonly used on sporting fields, especially those with heavy traffic.

It’s also a favourite of people who have dogs that tend to destroy the lawn, as this grass recovers so quickly.

It is a warm-season variety that forms a dense carpet, spreading by stolons (above-ground runners) and rhizomes (underground runners).

The roots of Kikuyu grass go very deep into the soil, which allows it to tolerate drought conditions much better than other types of grass can.

Kikuyu does spread rapidly and can easily become invasive if not managed properly.

Kikuyu grass has a very aggressive root system and if neglected it can invade garden beds, creating a challenging weed to remove from unwanted areas.

Kikuyu vs Couch – Key Similarities

Easy to grow

Both varieties are aggressive growers and can be invasive if not controlled.

Good for high traffic areas

Both varieties are very hardy, making them great options for high foot traffic areas. They are resistant to damage and have a good ability to self-repair.

In fact, both Couch and Kikuyu are popular for sports fields and other large public grassy areas for this reason.

Need full sun

Both these varieties require full sun to grow properly and will struggle in shady areas.

High maintenance

Kikuyu and Couch grass are both aggressive growers, so they require a lot of mowing and care to keep them looking presentable.

They can also both be invasive (particularly Kikuyu) and can be a pain if they spread to areas you don’t want them.

Common and affordable

These are two of the most common varieties of grass in Australia and can be found at a number of turf supplies around the country.

They are both fairly affordable and come at a similar price point.

Kikuyu vs Couch – Key Differences

Heat tolerance

Couch is the better performer in extreme heat and is therefore recommended for the hotter parts of Australia.

Drought tolerance

While Kikuyu can withstand some drought, Couch is the clear winner here with very good drought tolerance.

Pest resistance

Couch grass is highly susceptible to pest infestations.

Most of the insects that attack couchgrass are soil-dwelling. Some of them are beneficial, but most are not, so will require vigilance and will potentially cause headaches if you need to deal with pests.

Soft and attractive

These varieties are popular in gardens and backyards because they look great. However, Couch is the softer variety of the two.


What is Couch grass good for?

Couch grass is good for high traffic areas because it grows fast and repairs itself quickly. It is popular thanks to its fine, soft blades.

How invasive is Couch grass?

Couch grass is one of the more invasive varieties of grass in Australia. It will easily spread to areas where you don’t want it if not controlled.

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Steve Kropp

Based in Melbourne, Steve's passion is vegetable gardening, and he’s been writing about it for almost 5 years. He also loves all things DIY and is always looking for a new project. When not working on his own garden projects or blogging, Steve enjoys spending time with his family, cooking meals with produce harvested from his garden, and coaching his son’s footy team.


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