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
1 rating

Wednesday - August 13, 2008

From: Portland, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Invasive Plants
Title: Getting rid of King Ranch bluestem
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I have recently moved to South Texas Coastal town of Portland, Texas. My St. Augestine turf grass has been invaded by - what the neighbors tell me - King Ranch Blue Stem grass. I am having a terrible time trying to pull - dig or whatever to rid myself of this horrible "running" - "take-over" grass. Can you help? How can I rid myself of it? Thanks

ANSWER:

You are not the first person to ask us about this problem. The unpleasant truth is that it isn't easy to get rid of. You can't apply herbicide since the same herbicide will kill your St. Augustine. For large fields that have been invaded by KR, tilling and prescribed burning are the most effective methods; but this isn't something you are likely to want to do in your lawn. What you are doing—pulling and digging it up—is the most effective way for ridding a lawn of it. Also, keep the lawn mowed to keep seed heads from forming and ripening. If it has pretty well taken over your entire lawn, you might try using solarization to kill everything (including the St. Augustine) and start over with the St. Augustine or, better yet, a native lawn. If only a portion of your lawn has the infestation, you could solarize that part and let the St. Augustine move back in once the KR is dead. You will have to be both vigilant and diligent to keep the KR from establishing itself again.

Please see the answer to a previous question for an extended discussion about elimination of King Ranch (KR) bluestem.

 

More Invasive Plants Questions

Competition between Horseherb and Chickweed
July 04, 2014 - Ok, sorry I did it wrong the 1st time!? I live in Houston, and I have chickens! I also have mass amounts of Horseherb, and I want to buy some chickweed seeds and plant it for my chickens! My question ...
view the full question and answer

Is the mimosa tree poisonous?
September 23, 2008 - Is the mimosa tree poisonous ? If you burn the trimmed limbs is the smoke noxious ?
view the full question and answer

Horsetail Rush invasive in Santa Monica CA
January 16, 2012 - Mr. Smarty Plants: I live about 3 miles from the beach in the Santa Monica area and have an 18inch deep planter area in my backyard that is adjacent to my garage. I like the look of horsetail rush. I...
view the full question and answer

Determining whether a wisteria is native in Katy TX
July 30, 2010 - If a wisteria is blooming after the leaves are out (there are a couple of blooms right now, in July), is it a sure sign that this is a native Texas wisteria?
view the full question and answer

Clover Among the Bluebonnets in Round Mountain, Texas
April 13, 2012 - I have a beautiful yard of bluebonnets, but mixed in with them are a tall clover that is hiding the flower's beauty and a shorter plant with clover-like leaves that produces burrs. Pulling is not an...
view the full question and answer

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