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

Wednesday - November 10, 2010

From: Dallas, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Watering, Grasses or Grass-like, Shrubs
Title: Irrigation of landscaping project after 1 year in San Antonio
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Hello, I am working on a project in San Antonio where the following vegetation types have been specified: cedar elm, bald cypress, 'Tifway 419' bermuda grass, mountain laurel, esperanza, and lantana 'new gold.' We are considering only having temporary irrigation equipment for the initial growing period (one year), and we are particularly concerned about the fate of the trees and the bermuda grass. We understand that given the climate, permanent irrigation may be necessary, but we would like to avoid it if possible. Is it possible that these vegetation types will survive without irrigation after the growing period, and if not, are there alternates that you would recommend? Thank you!

ANSWER:

The first thing we want to say is we're sorry Cynodon dactylon, bermudagrass was selected. It is a non-native, invasive grass that has become one of the worst weeds in the South. However, since you were given specifications, not choices, you will apparently have to work with it. The bermudagrass can get along with more sun and less water than many more desirable turf grasses, which is why it is over-used. This article Bermudagrass from Texas A&M Cooperative Extension will give you more information on it than we can.

Lantana 'New Gold' is a hybrid of Lantana camara, which is a tropical plant not native to Texas so, again, we have no information on it. You will find some helpful information from this Monrovia Nursery site.

The other plants on your list are all natives in and around Bexar County, and we are going to list them with links to the web pages on each individual plant in our database. You can read the information there on water and sun needs and recommended planting procedures.

Ulmus crassifolia (Cedar elm)

Taxodium distichum (Bald cypress)

Sophora secundiflora (Texas mountain laurel)

Tecoma stans (Yellow bells)

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:


Ulmus crassifolia


Taxodium distichum


Sophora secundiflora


Tecoma stans

 

 

 

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Dying non-native St. Augustine grass from Austin
May 02, 2013 - Although we all know St. Augustine grass is not a good thing, I am stuck with it and am trying to save areas that appear to have take-all fungus. I have done much reading online and have tried peat m...
view the full question and answer

Ground cover for a Texas dog run
November 02, 2015 - What ground cover do you recommend for a residential dog run located under a pergola in high limestone soil at White Rock Lake in Dallas, Texas?
view the full question and answer

Native plants for a garden in Panama City, FL
May 10, 2013 - I live in zone 9 in Florida. We are looking for plants which will be attractive all year long for the front of our house's landscaping which faces north. I need a specimen bush which doesn't get ov...
view the full question and answer

Plants for yard in Sweetwater, Texas
March 19, 2010 - What plants or grass would you suggest for an area that that is located on the east side of our house - full sun morning through noon, then it's shaded the remainder of the day.. Thanks!!
view the full question and answer

Comparison of native turf with St. Augustine and Kentucky bluegrass
May 11, 2011 - The native turf page mentions outperforming Bermuda grass, St. Augustine, and Kentucky blue, but the graphs only compare the natives to Bermudagrass. How do the native mixes stand up to St. Augustine...
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