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
Not Yet Rated

Sunday - March 07, 2010

From: Lakeway, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Plants for a dry hillside in central Texas
Answered by: Janice Kvale

QUESTION:

We need to plant some plants or grasses on a 3/4 acre sloaping hillside which does not get watered. Any recommendations for native grasses or plants which don't need care and will keep the lot from eroding.

ANSWER:

Grasses and sedges form thick, fibrous root systems that hold soil in place, perfect for a hilly location.These are the plants you want to consider. There are so many possibilities. I will mention a few but you may want to explore our Plant Database yourself. Go to the Combination Search and indicate location, type of plant (grasses), duration (perennial), moisture (dry), and light requirement. You may prefer tall or short grasses or a particular appearance or coloration. This will give you an opportunity to look the possibilities over.

To find seeds or plants for your hillside, check out our Suppliers list for your area. You are close enough to the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center to consider attending our plant sale in April. Seeds for most of these grasses will be available there also.

You don't mention the amount of sunlight your area gets so I am going to assume from your location that it is full sun (6 or more hours sunlight a day). The following suggestions will tolerate dry soil and full sun. Thank you for being a Mr. Smarty Plants follower!

Achnatherum hymenoides (Indian ricegrass)

Bouteloua curtipendula (sideoats grama) - the state grass of TX

Carex texensis (Texas sedge)

Muhlenbergia emersleyi (bullgrass)   

Muhlenbergia lindheimeri (Lindheimer's muhly)   

Nassella tenuissima (finestem needlegrass)    

Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem)     

Sorghastrum nutans (Indiangrass)    

 


Achnatherum hymenoides

Bouteloua curtipendula

Carex texensis

Muhlenbergia emersleyi

Muhlenbergia lindheimeri

Nassella tenuissima

Schizachyrium scoparium

Sorghastrum nutans

 

 

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Small, flowering, evergreen plants for hillside in Austin.
October 27, 2007 - I have a steep, dry hillside measuring approximately 4 feet high by six feet wide. I want to plant low growing, evergreen, flowering plants across the bed that will flower as long as possible, and thr...
view the full question and answer

Groundcovers for Miami, FL
November 10, 2011 - I live in Miami, Florida. I have a medium size Bismarck Palm in my front yard. What would be a good ground cover other than grass around this palm?
view the full question and answer

Native grass mix for Bastrop County, TX
February 25, 2014 - I plan to put in a small lawn on a tract of land near Rosanky, TX in Bastrop County. There are scattered oaks but the yard space will be mostly open. Soil is basically sandy. Is there a good native...
view the full question and answer

Illinois native grasses for shade
June 27, 2013 - Hello, my grass has died in a very shady area (standard buffalo grass), and I took this as an opportunity to plant some native grass varieties. I originally thought of buffalo grass, but learned that ...
view the full question and answer

Low Groundcovers for Pennsylvania
September 18, 2015 - Hi Mr Smarty Plants, I'm looking for a low growing grass or ground cover for an area that is between my neighbors horse fence and mine it is about 2 feet wide 30 ft long. It is impossible to mow and ...
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