Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - April 02, 2008

From: Beeville, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Non-native, invasive King Ranch bluestem and Coastal bermuda for horses
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Is blue stem grass mixed with coastal good for horses?

ANSWER:

We hope we intepreted your question correctly; that you were, indeed, referring to King Ranch bluestem grass and Coastal Bermuda grass as being good for horses. For starts, we're into horticulture, not agriculture, and really don't know much about feed for animals, except maybe how to keep deer out of the garden. This AgriLIFE Extension-Texas A&M website gives you contact information for your Extension agent, and you can get better information from that source.

However, we do want to deal with the two grasses you have mentioned. Both Bothriochloa ischaemum (King Ranch bluestem) and Cynodon dactylon (Coastal Bermuda) are non-native and have become invasive in many cases. KR bluestem originated in Mediteranean Europe and South Africa, while Bermuda grass is native to North Africa, Asia and Australia. If you already have these grasses available to you, then you should depend on the Extension agent's information for their use as horse forage.

If you're planning to plant grasses for horses, you might consider native grasses. Native grasses are good for horse forage and are usually managed without fertilization. Andropogon gerardii (big bluestem), Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem), and Andropogon glomeratus (bushy bluestem) are all native grasses that should do well in your area. You might be interested in reading this website Are you feeding your horse like a cow?

 

From the Image Gallery


Big bluestem
Andropogon gerardii

Little bluestem
Schizachyrium scoparium

Bushy bluestem
Andropogon glomeratus

More Non-Natives Questions

Removing St. Augustine, replacing with native plants
October 06, 2007 - Hello Mr. Smarty Plants, always excited to talk to the Green Guru himself. I've recently purchased a house in South Austin and am interested in establishing a small, 500+ sq ft, prairie grass and wi...
view the full question and answer

Propagation on bamboo in Washington State
August 30, 2008 - I have been trying for some time to grow bamboo in my garden. They rooted very well in the house but as soon as I put them in a large planter under the fir trees they turned yellow.They have a large h...
view the full question and answer

Weed prevention in vegetable gardens
September 26, 2007 - Mr.Smarty Plants - I know this isn't your area, but we have a vegetable garden that has been plagued by summertime weeds. Do you have a recommendation for a control plan we could implement during t...
view the full question and answer

Various landscape problems in Omaha, NE.
June 18, 2015 - Thank you for your time, sorry i cant sort this out because my issue seems to fit many but also none of the issues I've read about. Some patches of grass in my lawn have yellow spots and dying and/or...
view the full question and answer

Non-native Indian Hawthorn and Abelia resistance to deer from Ackerman MS
January 16, 2010 - I recently landscaped my yard. I have a large variety of bushes and trees. They have been planted for about a month. Yesterday, while out in the yard, I noticed that about half of my Indian hawthorn...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.