En EspaŅol

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?


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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
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


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.


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

Spacing of non-native crapemyrtle in Anniston AL
August 04, 2009 - We bought some Dazzle dwarf crepe myrtle bushes. We need to know how far apart to plant them. Thanks
view the full question and answer

Distinguishing native Celastrus scandens from non-native C. Orbiculatus from Lexington MA
June 08, 2014 - Dear Mr. Plants, I maintain a wildflower garden with the Lexington Field and Garden Club in Lexington, Massachusetts. Every year, I pull up sprouts of Celastris orbiulatis. I want to plan...
view the full question and answer

Acre-scale Grass Removal near Austin, TX
July 04, 2014 - How do I get rid of 10 acres of Kleingrass?
view the full question and answer

Planting distance for non-native crepe myrtles in Lawton OK
June 14, 2009 - We just bought Tonto Crepe Myrtle trees. I was just curious how far away from the house we should plant them.
view the full question and answer

Non-native invasive tungoil tree
July 21, 2006 - I believe I have a tungoil tree growing in my yard. How do I care for it and when would be the best time to move it. It is about 6 foot tall and has about 12 seed (fruit) on it. Thanks.
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center