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

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

Why aren't my Forsythias blooming in Stone Mountain, GA?
March 24, 2010 - We have a large forsythia stand that has bloomed beautifully for 14 years in a row. Two summers ago I cut them way back in July. For the past two years they have only leafed out, no, or very few bloom...
view the full question and answer

Water for non-native Sub-Zero ivy in El Paso
March 25, 2011 - Sub-Zero Ivy: Do they require lots of water - I live El Paso, TX - dry climate. Are they dangerous to dogs? Will they do well as ground cover around a brick patio? - Thanks!
view the full question and answer

Need advice on Angel Wing Begonia in Round Rock, Texas
October 13, 2010 - My Angel Wing Begonia seem hardy and healthy; I keep them in bright, indirect light and feed them periodically with diluted fish emulsion. I keep them dry as opposed to moist. But they don't bloom. ...
view the full question and answer

Non-native astilbe resemblance to non-native poisonous castor bean from Tomslake BC
May 21, 2014 - I have a plant that looks like a castor bean but it has flowers like a Younique Silvery Pink Astilbe. Need to id because castor bean is poisonous. This plant grows up to 5 feet in height. Thank you !
view the full question and answer

Proximity of orange trees in Phoenix AZ
June 14, 2009 - Do I need to plant my orange tree away from my neighbors orange tree?
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center