En Español

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Sunday - April 22, 2007

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Invasive nature of non-native Zoysia japonica grass
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

I have been reading up on Zoysia grass and I am curious about its invasive nature. Is there a good way to keep it from going into my neighbors' yards? I was thinking about using some edging material along the property lines. Would this help control it? I was also wondering how to control the thatching problem I have been reading about.

ANSWER:

Most zoysia grasses will outcompete Bermudagrass and St. Augustine grass, the two most common lawn grasses in your area (Central Texas). However, most cultivars spread quite slowly and some, like Zoysia japonica 'Meyer', is exceedingly slow-spreading. None of the zoysia grasses are North American native grasses.

Check with your neighbors; many would encourage zoysia to replace their existing turfgrass. If your neighbors wish to keep their grass as it is, edging will help. Your zoysia may still find a way to go under or over most edging, though.

Thatch is not usually a serious problem for zoysia if it is not over-fertilized or mowed too infrequently. If you find that dethatching is necessary, many equipment rental companies have machines for that purpose.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Controlling pumpkin vine in British Columbia
July 15, 2008 - I have never grown pumpkins before but decided to try one plant this year. It seems to be taking over my small garden space. Can I prune it back? I only want one or two pumpkins for my grandchildre...
view the full question and answer

Shade ground cover under honeysuckle from Wichita KS
February 21, 2012 - Hi! I know this is a bit odd, but I am trying to find a nontoxic, good ground covering plant that can live in the shade while competing with the roots of a whole bunch of honeysuckle. I have a few ide...
view the full question and answer

Removing a non-native windmill palm from Austin
February 27, 2013 - I have a fairly good size windmill palm (about 15ft high) that is planted too close to the house. I also don't like having to constantly remove its fronds as they block a walkway. Is there a good wa...
view the full question and answer

Question about non-native false aralia (Schefflera elegantissima)
September 02, 2009 - Hi. I have a False Aralia-8 stalks. Have had for a while and recently it has begun (and for the first time) dropping leaves. The stalks are getting pretty barren. I know the genreal care for the...
view the full question and answer

Browning of non-native Plectranthus in Dallas
November 28, 2010 - I live in Dallas and planted 'Mona Lavender' which is now brown and limp after overnight temps in the low 30's. Is it dead or will it come back? Do I need to cover these plants during the winter m...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center