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?

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
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

Friday - August 31, 2007

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Shorter drought-tolerant grasses
Answered by: Nan Hampton and Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

We live on 1 1/2 acres near Dripping Springs. We have a variety of grasses, mostly tall, on the back and side of the property. Is there some type of drought tolerant shorter grass or wildflowers or groundcover that we could plant to compete with these taller grasses? Mowing and weedeating this area is very difficult because there is a tall slope going down to the road. Thank you for your advice.

ANSWER:

You don't say what your taller grasses are, but here are a few that are relatively short and that Mr. Smarty Plants thinks are very attractive: Bouteloua gracilis (blue grama), Bouteloua dactyloides (buffalograss) and Bouteloua rigidiseta (Texas grama). However, chances are your taller grasses are the natives, Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem) and Andropogon glomeratus (bushy bluestem) which are enjoying prolific growth this year due to the abundance of rain, or the non-native invasive, K.R. bluestem. In most years - with closer to normal rainfall - your grasses will not grow as tall as they have this year.
 

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Watering grass, before or after cutting it
August 21, 2008 - Should I water my grass before or after cutting it, after it has not been watered in a few days along with dry times?
view the full question and answer

Erosion prevention on shady Pennsylvania stream
July 28, 2011 - I'm looking for a few species to plant along a stream channel to help reduce erosion during heavy rains. The soil is moist and in full shade. Ferns and thorny bushes are the only current vegetation...
view the full question and answer

Plants for Liberty Hill TX in full sun
April 15, 2008 - We recently bought an acre of land in Liberty Hill, TX. We have a large planting area in the front that is devoid of any plant life. I would like to turn this into a semi shaded area with some annua...
view the full question and answer

Stabilizing a lakeside slope from Bracey, VA
May 24, 2012 - We are trying to beautify and stabilize a relatively large lakeside steep slope with a southern exposure in central Virginia. The soil is characterized by red clay and shale rock. How can we turn this...
view the full question and answer

Erosion controlling plants for a shady Minnesota lakeside
August 11, 2015 - I live about 50 yards from a lake and there is a steep embankment. Recently someone decided to cut the trees off the embankment and now the dirt is eroding off the embankment as well as off my back ya...
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 | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center