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
1 rating

Tuesday - July 31, 2007

From: Katy, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Practicality of Cedar Elm and buffalo grass in clay soil in East Texas
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Dear Mr. Smarty Pants, I live in Katy Texas on what used to be a rice field. The soil either has a lot of clay in it or in places is just solid clay. Will any kind of buffalo grass grow here? I've read that the Cedar Elm does well in clay, would that be a good tree for us? Any help with growing native plants in clay on the Katy prairie would be very appreciated. Thanks!

ANSWER:

As long as you have plenty of sunshine, Bouteloua dactyloides (buffalograss) should do fine in your clay soil in Harris County. There are a number of different varieties available and it would be a good idea to check with a nursery in the area that specializes in native plants to find the best one for your area. You can find those in our National Suppliers Directory. Turffalo, developed by Texas Tech University, has been getting good press, but your best bet is to seek the advice of someone local who has had experience with buffalo grass in your area.

Ulmus crassifolia (cedar elm) should also do fine in your clay soils.


Ulmus crassifolia

 

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Plants for near a salt water swimming pool
April 01, 2009 - I need some suggestions of plants that will grow next to a public salt water swimming pool, located in Bossier City, Louisiana
view the full question and answer

Mixture of native grasses as opposed to buffalo grass monoculture
November 26, 2003 - My husband and I just built our home on Lake Travis. Our lot is very rocky and is on the side of a hill. We would like to plant something on the incline at the front of our home that doesn't need a l...
view the full question and answer

Using Pensylvania Sedge in Dover, DE.
June 11, 2014 - Regarding Pennsylvania sedge, I am thinking of planting the sedge along our driveway, which is under trees and not reached by our sprinkler system. Across the driveway, there is lawn. Is it likely tha...
view the full question and answer

Xeriscaping in clay on a slope in Fort Worth
April 06, 2006 - Xeriscaping in clay (Fort Worth) on a slope -- Please offer suggestions and publications. Thanks
view the full question and answer

Plants for aerobic septic system in Houston
February 03, 2011 - My husband and I would like to plants some trees and shrubs, but we have an aerobic system taking up most of the yard :( Can you recommend any trees that won't hurt that? Also shrubs for our weath...
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