En Español

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
2 ratings

Friday - September 12, 2008

From: Cedar Park, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Will Bermuda grass crowd out natives
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

i have a new office bldg on an acre lot in cedar park. the city requires complete ground cover within a few months so bermuda was sprayed much to my dismay..the area along the front towards the road was not sprayed and has retained some of the native grasses but is adjacent to the bermuda. can i encourage the natives in this area with no mowing, and seeding wildflowers and native grasses or will the bermuda gradually take over no matter what i do?

ANSWER:

Well, I'm not overly optimistic about keeping the bermuda grass completely out of the non-sprayed area, but I certainly think it's worth a try.  Bermuda grass is very agressive, moving into new areas by rhizomes (underground stems) and stolons (aboveground stems) as well as by seeds spread by wind and birds.  However, if you seed the area now, you might get to enjoy some native grasses and wildflowers for a bit and they may be able to hold off the bermuda grass if they become well-established before the bermuda grass makes it there.  Here are suggestions for native grasses that do not need mowing:  Bouteloua dactyloides (buffalograss) and Bouteloua gracilis (blue grama).  Blue grama can be as tall as 12 inches when it blooms, but the foliage of it and the buffalograss reaches a maximum of only about 8 inches.  Native American Seed in Junction has a Native Sun Turfgrass mix that is a combination of the two.  They also have several wildflower mixes available.  The Native Texas Mix has a good combination of attractive hardy wildflowers (Rudbeckia hirta (blackeyed Susan), Dracopis amplexicaulis (clasping coneflower), Gaillardia pulchella (firewheel), Monarda citriodora (lemon beebalm), Lupinus texensis (Texas bluebonnet) and more).  They also sell packages of single wildflower species.

 


Bouteloua dactyloides

Bouteloua gracilis

Rudbeckia hirta

Dracopis amplexicaulis

Gaillardia pulchella

Monarda citriodora

Lupinus texensis

 

 

More Wildflowers Questions

Solution to preserve cut wildflowers from Sugarland TX
April 23, 2012 - What is the best solution to preserve cut wildflowers in? Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Best Asclepias for Kansas City
October 06, 2014 - I have a question about the Asclepias. I live in the Midwest, in Kansas City with hardiness zone 5b or 6. I want to know which of these plants would be good for me in a cultivated garden. It's not to...
view the full question and answer

Soils for Central Texas wildflowers
November 04, 2007 - Our family is moving to 40 acres near Lexington, TX with deep soil. Briefly talking to personnel at the Wildflower Center during Goblins in the Garden, I found that not all flowers in the Central Texa...
view the full question and answer

Propagation of Gregg's mistflower in Belton, TX
May 02, 2010 - I would like to know how to plant seeds from Gregg's mistflowers. Can the seeds be planted in the spring, and if so, do they need to be prepared first (soaked overnight, etc)?
view the full question and answer

Bluebonnets and weeds in Burleson TX
March 31, 2010 - I have lots of blue bonnets growing in my yard but they are overcome with weeds. What can I use to eliminate the weeds without killing the bluebonnets?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center