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

Tuesday - May 11, 2010

From: Lewes, DE
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Non-Natives, Transplants
Title: Problems with non-native Miscanthus sinensis grass in Lewes DE
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have morning light ornamental grass, which was just three days ago. The ends of the grass are shriveling up and appear to be dying; why is this?

ANSWER:

We are assuming you mean Miscanthus sinensis grass var. "Morning Light," and also assuming you meant you had planted it 3 days ago, and now the ends of the grass are shriveling.

In the first place, any time you see a plant scientific name ending with "sinensis," you can bet it is not native to North America. Usually, it means that plant is native to China; in this case, it also includes Japan, Korea and other Far Eastern countries. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is committed to the use, protection and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which the plants are being grown. This article from Floridata on Miscanthus sinensis will possibly answer some of your questions. Your grass may just be suffering from transplant shock, and needs a little trimming off the top. Check the referenced article to see if you have the grass in the right amount of sun, and if it is getting enough water. Beyond that, please notice the Warning at the bottom of that article:

"Chinese silver grass is invading and disrupting native plant communities in many places from the southeastern United States to California and the West Coast." 

That is one of the reasons we recommend using only plants native to an area; the non-native, with no natural competition or predator, can become invasive, forcing out natives and destroying natural habitats. 

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Non-native, invasive rescue grass in meadow garden in Smithville TX
September 20, 2012 - Despite numerous efforts, a solid field of cool weather rescue grass keeps desired wildflower and grass seeds from successfully growing on my "vacant" lot in town. I plan to I put out a 6 ml plasti...
view the full question and answer

Care of non-native calla lilies
July 15, 2005 - How should I protect my calla lilies during the winter? If it helps you any, I live in South Carolina. And also will too much water hurt them? We have had massive amounts of rain.
view the full question and answer

Failure to bloom of non-native Althea in Oklahoma
August 17, 2008 - I have 2 Althea bushes that will not bloom. For the past 2 years, they become covered in buds, which eventually yellow, but never open. The buds are fully developed. This year the branches have starte...
view the full question and answer

Information on non-native, invasive pampas grass
February 12, 2004 - Our neighborhood is doing a community landscaping project and pampas grass has been suggested. Is there a good article related to invasives that specifically mention pampas grass?
view the full question and answer

What will grow under non-native, invasive Norway Maple in White Plains NY?
April 17, 2010 - Is there anything that will grow under a Norway Maple? The soil is dry and the area is small hill next to my driveway. It is an eye sore! Thank you!
view the full question and answer

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