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 - July 23, 2008

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Cacti and Succulents, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Texas natives to plant in July and August
Answered by: Nan Hampton and Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

My husband and I have a disaster of a lawn that we were planning to develop slowly, over time, with a sustainable design we contracted from a landscape designer. However, we are having to move out of the house urgently and rent it out, with little time to prepare the front yard to add curb appeal. We'd like to find some plants we can design with gravel, which we can actually plant in July or August. (I'm not convinced that even natives could survive a planting this time of year.) Any suggestions??

ANSWER:

Well, you're right—this is not the ideal time to be planting something in Austin, given the heat and lack of rain. You, your property management agent or your tenant will need to water the newly planted plants for awhile to help them get established. Even the toughest plants cannot stand transplaning in mid-summer without some extra care. However, going with a sort of desert theme, here are a few options that should work and look good with your gravel.

Hesperaloe parviflora (redflower false yucca)

Manfreda maculosa (spice lily)

Chrysactinia mexicana (damianita)

Dasylirion texanum (Texas sotol)

Nolina texana (Texas sacahuista)

Yucca rupicola (Texas yucca)

Yucca thompsoniana (Thompson's yucca)

 

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Plant ID from Villa Hills KY
April 21, 2013 - Hello I have this plant but I don't know what it is. I want to know if it's edible or what it is. I think it's catnip.
view the full question and answer

Shade tolerant Wildflowers for Oklahoma City
April 16, 2012 - I live in Oklahoma City. I'm not in town very often, and am seeking low maintenance plants. I have MANY trees in my backyard, which makes it quite shady. I have raised beds amongst my rock garden ...
view the full question and answer

Patience pays off with chile pequin in Austin
September 24, 2011 - Hello. Re my June 08, 2011 message -- Guess what! The chile pequin is finally flowering and setting fruit in its container on my apartment patio. You said patience, you were right, and hooray once aga...
view the full question and answer

Wintering Purple Coneflowers in pots in Springfield MO
August 26, 2013 - I have some 8 month old purple cone flowers in containers on my porch. They did not bloom this summer because they were seedlings when given to me. I can not put them in the ground. How can I keep the...
view the full question and answer

Growth rate of non-native Asclepias curassavica
April 29, 2014 - As a volunteer at the National Butterfly center, I wonder how long from starting the seeds until the plant reaches approximately 20 cm tall does it take a tropical milkweed (asclepias curassavica) to ...
view the full question and answer

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