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

Thursday - July 09, 2009

From: Spring, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Problems with non-native St. Augustine grass in Spring TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

St. Augustine. It's July 6th, 3 weeks ago my grass was green and healthy, today I've got large patches (20' x 3') that are dying. I water my yard 10 mins / day in the morning (5:00 am). It's been 100+ degrees everyday but I figured watering 10 mins. daily was enough. Any ideas?

ANSWER:

Well, our first idea is that you need to replace that St. Augustine with a native grass that can withstand this drought and heat that Texas has been having. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is committed to plants native not only to North America but to the area in which the plant is being grown. Probably you are not going to want to dig up your lawn, especially in the middle of summer, so since we don't know anything about non-native grasses, we found an article St. Augustine Grass by Richard L. Duble, Turfgrass Specialist, Texas Cooperative Extension. We suspect that your watering practices could be part of the problem, as usually two or three deep waterings a week, rather than a sprinkle every morning is recommended. Also, when you are reading the above article, be sure to read down to the end to the part about diseases.
 

More Non-Natives Questions

Native plants for southwest side of house in Birmingham, AL
April 18, 2009 - I would like to know what I can plant on the southwest side of my house where there is a brick foundation and is really hot in the summer. I've tried irises and day lilies-not good. Suggestions?
view the full question and answer

Problems on mock orange plant in England
August 20, 2008 - I have a small mock orange plant that is about 3 years old. It is currently in a 12 inch plant pot in full sun. It bloomed beautifully this year but the leaves on both the new and old growth are start...
view the full question and answer

Care for indoor ivy from Carollton TX
January 26, 2012 - I have an indoor ivy that is on a pole. The pole is breaking, and I need to separate the ivy from the pole with the least amount of trauma to the plant. How should I do this? Thanks!
view the full question and answer

How to Deal with Leggy Artemisia 'Silver Mound'
October 03, 2015 - I have two Artemisia (I think 'Silver Mound') in full sun in West Austin. They have been happily growing there for the past 10 or so years. Both were hard-hit by last winter's cold weather and did...
view the full question and answer

Pruning of non-native abelias in Fair Oaks Ranch, TX
January 24, 2011 - I have some old established Abelias that are leggy at the bottom. Can I cut them back, and if so, how far and best time to do so?
view the full question and answer

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