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
1 rating

Sunday - July 13, 2008

From: Odem, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Grasses or Grass-like, Herbs/Forbs, Shrubs
Title: Native plants that are dog-proof in South Texas
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I live in Odem, Texas and would like to use only native plants in my front and backyard. I have two puppies who love to dig. What plants should I use that require minimal attention from me and will not be destroyed by my animals?

ANSWER:

If you ever find some plants like that, we'd like to know what they are. The problem is that even sturdy, damage-resistant flowers or grasses or shrubs start out as little plants that need to be protected, watered and their roots left undisturbed. And, new plants are going to require more than minimal attention under any circumstances. Even grasses like buffalograss will tend to get weedy when they are newly planted, and certainly couldn't withstand puppy feet. We are going to suggest that you designate a portion of your yard to be puppyland, and a portion to be garden. If someone were going to be outside with the dogs all the time, and training them not to dig or chew on the plants, that might work. But if the yard is doggy domain, then just about anything but already-established shrubs and trees are going to be doomed. So, we're going to leave animal control to you, and suggest some native plants for your part of Texas. You can go to the individual webpage for each plant and find out if it suits your purposes. We don't know what sun exposure you will be dealing with, or how moist your soil is, so those are considerations when you look at the information. And you must also be sure that anything chosen for puppyland be non-toxic. Unless the dogs are constantly supervised, they are going to chew on things, and a number of popular garden plants are poisonous in all or some of their parts. We are going to go to Recommended Species, click on South Texas on the map, and select a few each of herbaceous perennials, shrubs and grasses that will work in that part of the state.

When you make some selections, you can go to Suppliers for a list of native plant suppliers. In the Enter Search Location box, type your town and state and you will get a list of seed companies, nurseries and landscape consultants in your general area.

HERBACEOUS PERENNIALS

Hibiscus martianus (heartleaf rosemallow) - 1 to 3' tall, depending on moisture, blooms all year in non-frost areas

Monarda fistulosa (wild bergamot) - 2 to 5' tall, sun to part shade, blooms May to September

Salvia farinacea (mealycup sage) - 2 to 3' tall, sun, blooms April to October

Wedelia texana (hairy wedelia) - 8" to 3' tall, sun to part shade

SHRUBS

Cordia boissieri (anacahuita) - shrub or small tree, blooms all year, sun to part shade

Ebenopsis ebano (Texas ebony) - 25' shrub or small tree, blooms June to August

Eysenhardtia texana (Texas kidneywood) - 6 ti 12' tall, blooms May to October, sun

Leucophyllum frutescens (Texas barometer bush) - 2 to ' tall, blooms all year, sun to part shade

GRASSES

Bouteloua dactyloides (buffalograss) - turf, can be mowed, sun to part shade

Nolina texana (Texas sacahuista) - 1 to 3' tall, part shade

VINES

Bignonia capreolata (crossvine) - sun to part shade

Lonicera sempervirens (trumpet honeysuckle) - sun to part shade


Hibiscus martianus

Monarda fistulosa

Salvia farinacea

Wedelia texana

Cordia boissieri

Ebenopsis ebano

Eysenhardtia texana

Leucophyllum frutescens

Bouteloua dactyloides

Nolina texana

Bignonia capreolata

Lonicera sempervirens

 

 

 

 

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Wildlife garden for Austin
May 19, 2013 - I am trying to make my backyard more wildlife friendly. I have pecan trees for the canopy and some understory shrub/trees like rough leaf dogwood and redbud. I am having a really hard time finding sui...
view the full question and answer

Meadow garden for Colorado Springs CO
June 03, 2012 - We recently purchased a restored home on a mesa just above the downtown area of Colorado Springs on the front range. The previous owners seeded the front lawn with blue gramma and told me that all I ...
view the full question and answer

Native Grasses as a Hay Crop in Beeville, TX
October 22, 2014 - I am looking to cut Hay on about 38 acres just west of Beeville, Texas. I want to convert the land to native grasses, but I still want to have a decent hay crop that I can sell. What is a good set of ...
view the full question and answer

Replacements for yuccas from Georgetown TX
August 07, 2013 - I have lost some softleaf and variegated yucca to a beetle grub destroying the root system - like the Agave snout beetle does. I have put an insecticidal drench on my remaining plants, but suspect wi...
view the full question and answer

Alkalinity-tolerant grasses
July 24, 2005 - Dear Sirs - Are you aware of any grass species that could survive in strongly alkaline soils (ph from 10 up to 12) Thanks a lot.
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