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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - November 25, 2009

From: Kyle, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Turf
Title: Need help with an invasive ground cover type plant filling in damaged areas in lawn.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

Since the drought this summer, there is an invasive ground cover type plant filling in the damaged areas in my lawn . It is dark greenish/purplish very small clover type plant, difficult to pull up and breaks off close to the ground. It's spreading like wild fire. Do you have any suggestions? I live 20 minutes south of Austin, Texas.

ANSWER:

It is generally difficult, if not impossible, to identify a plant from a written description, but you have given a clue that makes Mr. Smarty Plants think you may be talking about a plant in the genus Oxalis. Compare the images on this page for Oxalis with the plant in your yard. You didn't mention flowers, but if the plant is flowering, it it much easier to identify. If the images on the NPIN page don't match your plant, go to the Plant Identification page and follow the directions for sending us some photos.

Oxalis is a broad-leaf weed, and there are herbicides that can control it. We generally don't recommend their use, but we don't condemn their use either. We just ask that you use them carefully, and strictly follow the directions on the label. 

You didn't mention the kind of lawn, the type of damage, or the size of the damaged area. Mechanical removal, ie. pulling, can be an effective means of getting rid of the pest if the area isn't too large. As your lawn recovers, the grasss could choke out the invader, so you might just leave it alone and see what the grass does.


Oxalis stricta

 

 

 

 

More Turf Questions

Replacing non-native lawn grasses in an HOA in Kyle TX
March 27, 2009 - We just rounded out our first year with our first lawn here in Central Texas. I was stingy with the water and needless to say our non-native, Bermuda grass and St. Augustine lawn did not fare well. Id...
view the full question and answer

Short wildflowers to interplant with grass in PA
July 05, 2011 - I live in NE PA and would like to grow short wildflowers throughout my yard mixed in with my grass. Is this possible? If so, what would be a good match for my zone? I will be mowing the grass once a w...
view the full question and answer

Plants to prevent erosion in IL
August 02, 2012 - We just got done building a house and have leveled all of the dirt piles. We do have a row of straw bales to help prevent the dirt from washing onto the neighbors property. It is the wrong time of ye...
view the full question and answer

Sowing grass for shaded lawn in Texas
February 04, 2008 - I'm renting a home for short period of time, hence I would like to make this as simple, but as beneficial as possible. The backyard soil is degraded and compacted so I would like to try and use a "...
view the full question and answer

Need name of company with experience in Habiturf installation in Round Rock, TX.
January 24, 2012 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I read the article about "NATIVE LAWNS: HABITURF™ A MULTI-SPECIES MIX FOR NORTH, WEST AND CENTRAL TEXAS" Do you know any landscape companies/groups in Austin - Round Ro...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center