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

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

Why are there no low-mow lawn grasses composed of only native fescues?
September 09, 2014 - Dear SP, Most blends of ecograss I see are a combination of non-native and native fescues (and sometimes buffalo grass, blue grama, etc.). Why are there (apparently) none that are composed entirely of...
view the full question and answer

Will Habiturf work in Houston?
January 20, 2012 - I am looking to plant the parking strip between the sidewalk and street - about 6-7 feet wide. Would Habiturf work in Houston. The webside lists areas of Texas, but wasn't sure if Houston was incl...
view the full question and answer

Privacy screen for Sedona AZ
August 02, 2013 - I live In Sedona Az. A builder just built a house next to my house and the new house is ugly to look at. What plant or tree would grow fast and reach 18 foot in height fast. It can be about 5 to 6 foo...
view the full question and answer

The effect of plant growth regulators (PGRs) on tall grass species
January 25, 2009 - I have a question about some established native grass areas that we have on our golf course in eastern Missouri. For the past eight or nine years we have been working hard to transition these areas f...
view the full question and answer

Trees and other plants for privacy along lake shoreline
March 09, 2013 - We are purchasing a new home that has a 2 acre lake. We would like to add some plants/trees for privacy around the shore line. Can you suggest something that would fill in nicely and is strong enoug...
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