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

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

Plants for slopes in South Texas
October 05, 2009 - Can you provide a list of plants for use on slopes in S. Texas?
view the full question and answer

Identification of red-topped grass blooming in Comal County
May 21, 2013 - I live in Comal County and right now (mid May) there is a beautiful, red topped grass growing along the side of country roads. It is maybe 1 foot tall, and waves in the breeze. Do you know what kind o...
view the full question and answer

Carex texensis for Gainesville, Florida
August 31, 2013 - I am interested in planting Carex texensis in Gainesville Florida (zone 9). The site is part shade with little water. However, I do not see it listed as being used anywhere in Florida. Is it restric...
view the full question and answer

Wildflower meadow for birds
September 19, 2008 - I put in a wildflower feed plot for the song birds 3 years ago. We prepared the bed by first using Round Up to kill all the grass then lightly tilled to scratch the surface and planted the wildflower ...
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

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