En Espa—ol

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

Monday - August 16, 2010

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Planting Muhlenbergia rigens in Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have a question about when I can plant Deer Muhly (AKA Muhlenbergia Rigens). It's pretty hot now, but I would like to know how much it needs to cool down before I can plant these grasses?

ANSWER:

Muhlenbergia rigens (deergrass) is native to Austin, as shown in this USDA Plant Profile map. From the Sonoma County (CA) Master Gardeners, we found this article on Muhlenbergia rigens. This, of course, is dealing with it from a California perspective, but the general advice would be the same. Here is an extract from that article concerning seeding:

"Deer grass seed can be started in flats in May and then put in the ground in early Fall. After a few years, established plants can be divided during winter months, using a sharp spade, and transplanted elsewhere.  Deergrass is available (as noted above, generally in 4” or 1 gallon containers) at many local nurseries, especially those with good selections of grasses or natives, such as Emerisa Gardens in Santa Rosa, Mostly Natives in Tomales and Cottage Gardens in Petaluma."

Usually, the advice given about planting grasses in Texas is to plant them in early Spring, because that is when they are going to germinate anyway. It would be more reliable to use the method suggested above, of planting the seeds in flats, and then putting the sprigs in the ground in the Fall. 

We went to our National Supplier's Directory, typed "Austin TX" in the "Enter Search Location" box and got this list in the area of native plant seed suppliers, nurseries and consultants. All of these have contact information. Your best bet is to contact them and find out who has the seed. They should be able to answer your questions about where and when to plant those seeds. Many of them supply mail order service, and can tell you about how many seeds you need to cover a certain area. 

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:


Muhlenbergia rigens

Muhlenbergia rigens

Muhlenbergia rigens

Muhlenbergia rigens

 

 

 

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Native, low maintenance lawn for Rowley MA
September 11, 2013 - I am in Northeastern (coastal) Massachusetts and I am looking to replace my (currently high maintenance, water intensive, invasive species) lawn with a native, low maintenance species (or mix). Many o...
view the full question and answer

Plants for a sunny, dry slope in NY
March 01, 2010 - Looking for plants, native to area, that are quick growing to a height of approximately 6" to 12" for a steep slope comprised of shale in a sunny location.
view the full question and answer

Drainage pond plantings from Mason MI
April 23, 2012 - We have a drainage pond in our back yard. It has a large muddy bank and some steep sides where erosion has started to take its toll. We are looking for some Michigan/Mid-Western native plants that w...
view the full question and answer

Native plants to retain slope in Salisbury, CT
April 25, 2009 - We want to plant a newly dug out slope with native plants that will retain the dirt. It is sun to part sun near a lake summer cottage. Thanks!!!
view the full question and answer

Winter expectations for Buffalograss (Bouteloua dactyloides)
October 08, 2007 - I planted some buffalo grass (from seed) in April of this year. Iíve got a nice patch now, though itís starting to brown up some. Iím wondering what to expect from this patch over the winter- will i...
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center