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

Interaction of Habiturf and St. Augustine grasses from Willow City TX
April 16, 2012 - How does Habiturf and St. Augustine interact? Does one dominate the other? Can you plant them in close areas? Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Pruning non-native peach trees in Austin
November 14, 2008 - I have 2 peach trees that are 2 years old. Last year I pruned them in February and do not want to prune them again this year. I want to cut the little sucker limbs off of them this year. When can I do...
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native fruit trees in Katy TX
May 13, 2010 - I have several species of fruit trees growing. pear, lime, orange, pluot, plum, variegated orange, peach, lemon all planted in ground, some this year and some last year: My lemon (approx 15 gallon) an...
view the full question and answer

Non-native mint invading flower beds in Kendallville IN
April 26, 2011 - A few years back we were given two sprouts of something referred to as peppermint tea. We planted in our flower bed and now it has taken over. It seems to start slow in the spring but doesn't take lo...
view the full question and answer

Non-native photinias in Monroe NY
April 11, 2012 - Two Questions: Is the weather too cold to plant red tip photinias in Monroe NY? What is a good alternative evergreen shrub to hide chain link fence?
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