En Espa—ol

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

Saturday - January 05, 2008

From: San Antonio, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Post freeze care for Texas native grasses
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Can you tell me the best post-freeze care for Tx native grasses in my garden: lindheimer muhly, gulf muhly, inland sea oats. Mexican feather grass. Do I cut them back? Burn them? Leave them alone? Thank you.

ANSWER:

The key word in your question is "native." When you select plants that are already adapted to an area, it cuts down on the maintenance that has to be done. Muhlenbergia lindheimeri (Lindheimer's muhly), Muhlenbergia capillaris (hairawn muhly), Chasmanthium latifolium (Inland sea oats), and Nassella tenuissima (finestem needlegrass) are all native to this area, and will suffer little, if any, from frost. With all grasses, the main concern in trimming is keeping them tidy. It's probably best to leave any dead stems on the grasses until the chances of frost are well over, as the overhanging grasses will help to protect the green part of the plant from an excessive freeze. Then, you might cut about 1/3 of the plant back, and thoroughly rake out any dead or cut ends. Keeping the dead grasses out of the plants is important both to appearance and because the dry material can be a burn hazard. Obviously, we do not advise that you burn anything, especially now with the dry weather in Central Texas, along with high winds.

 


Muhlenbergia lindheimeri

Muhlenbergia capillaris

Chasmanthium latifolium

Nassella tenuissima

 

 

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Plants for full-sun landscape
November 20, 2007 - I live in a very rocky area just outside of Fort Worth, TX. It's taken me all spring, summer & now I'm going into the fall, to landscape just 30 feet in front of my house. The front of the house get...
view the full question and answer

Sun requirement for native turf grasses
May 25, 2011 - What are the sun requirements needed for the native grass seed mix you recently released? I have a pretty well shaded back yard. Will this stuff grow well in this condition?
view the full question and answer

Wildflower field for sewage leach field from Olga Washington
August 01, 2012 - I am interested in planting a large native wildflower field at a resort in the San Juan Islands in Washington State. It would be over a sewage leach field for many cabins and bathrooms. Are there any ...
view the full question and answer

Lindheimer's muhly, goat food in Fredericksburg TX
July 25, 2011 - How can I eradicate Lindheimers muhly in my pasture and what can I plant in its place that goats will graze on?
view the full question and answer

Mowable grass to grow under pecan trees in Houston, Texas.
September 07, 2010 - I read your answer on grasses that will grow under pecans, but Iím looking for a grass that will blend in a bit with the rest of our St. Augustine grass yard. Something I can mow. Our pecan trees are ...
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.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center