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

Should I transplant my bluebonnets from the planter they came into soil in Austin?
April 10, 2009 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, Since moving to Austin two years ago I have fallen in love with bluebonnets. Last year I purchased seedlings from the Wildflower Center but a taste-first-evaluate-later inquis...
view the full question and answer

More on bluebonnets
November 29, 2004 - We would like to know if the bluebonnet wildflowers are suitable for New Orleans and, if so, which months should they be seeded. Otherwise what can you suggest for our humid climate. We like blue, lav...
view the full question and answer

Invasiveness of native Viola sororia
June 13, 2007 - I live in Warwick, RI and have a section of my backyard overgrown with common blue violets. My husband and I would like to relocate them to a more scenic location if possible. The advice the cooperat...
view the full question and answer

Wildflowers for floodplain near Denton, TX
March 22, 2015 - Hello, I am a member of my HOA board and am researching the possibility of filling in our floodplains with wildflowers. Currently the floodplains are grass only and span a few acres. Our goal is to t...
view the full question and answer

Plants for a Shaded Slope in Philadelphia
April 17, 2015 - I have a small slope along the North side of my house in a suburb of Philadelphia. A small maple tree grows there but most of it gets no sun at all (a large segment is under the tree). I had the soil ...
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