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
2 ratings

Tuesday - July 08, 2008

From: Houston, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Buffalograss for Houston
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Will 609 buffalograss sod perform well in Houston, Texas? I am being told that it will yellow and get filled with weeds and that it won't handle the humidity. Is this all true? Help, please.

ANSWER:

Bouteloua dactyloides (buffalograss) should do just fine in Houston. In fact, the West Harris County Regional Water Authority cites buffalograss for its low water requirements compared to Bermuda and St. Augustine grasses. Buffalograss does do best in full sun (6 or more hours/day) and you will have to be diligent about pulling up and/or digging out weeds until your lawn is well established, but then it should be relatively care-free—you shouldn't have to mow it but once or twice a year and it will require little water. Buffalograss isn't ever as green as, say, St. Augustine and it will go dormant in very cold weather and turn brown. In Houston, that should be for only a short period of time, if at all. If your lawn has shaded areas, you would be better off planting something else for those area like a groundcover or sedges (see suggestions for groundcovers and sedges below). Please read our How to Article "Native Lawns: Buffalograss" and you might also like to read "Sedge Lawns for Every Landscape" by John Greenlee.

We receive many questions about buffalograss and rather than repeat all the answers we've given, I refer you to the Ask Mr. Smarty Plants page where you can pull up these answers by typing 'buffalograss' into the Keyword Search slot.

Sedges:

Carex blanda (eastern woodland sedge)

Carex cherokeensis (Cherokee sedge)

Carex texensis (Texas sedge)

Groundcovers:

Phyla nodiflora (turkey tangle fogfruit)

Calyptocarpus vialis (straggler daisy)

Geum canadense (white avens)


Bouteloua dactyloides

Bouteloua dactyloides

Carex blanda

Carex cherokeensis

Carex texensis

Phyla nodiflora

Calyptocarpus vialis

Geum canadense

 


 

 

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Landscaping large area in Webster KY
February 10, 2012 - We just bought a house that we fell in love with. The land around it . . . well it has GREAT potential but is seriously lacking at the moment. Trying to get the farm up and running leaves very litt...
view the full question and answer

Can Carolina wild petunia be planted over septic tank in Nokomis FL
July 10, 2011 - Could you tell me the root depth of the Ruellia caroliniensis/ Carolina wild petunia? Trying to determine if I can plant it over septic tank.
view the full question and answer

Identification of native grasses little bluestem and switchgrass
August 09, 2007 - If you drive east of Austin on Hwy 71, there is a bluish looking grass that has become very noticeable since the heavy rains in July. The blades grow straight up and each plant is in clump form. Do ...
view the full question and answer

Properties of Nolina species
November 16, 2010 - I bought two plants that were labeled "Nolina" but one has round leaves and the other has flat leaves with serrations. Are they two different species? Also, can they be divided or is there only on...
view the full question and answer

Need native plant to stabilize 45 degree slope in Houston, TX.
June 06, 2012 - Can you recommend a native TX plant to be used to stabilize a 45 degree slope in the Houston area? Durability, maintenance and appearance should be considered. Thank You.
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.

Bibliography

Atlas of the Vascular Plants of Texas (2003) Turner, B. L.; H. Nichols; G. Denny; O. Doron

Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region (2002) Wasowski, S. & A. Wasowski

Search More Titles in Bibliography

E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center