En EspaŅol

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?


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

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


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!


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 Watering Questions

Need help with Wheeler's Dwarf Pittosporum
September 02, 2015 - We have about five Dwarf Wheeler Pittosporum plants. All of them are mature and were doing well. I was on vacation for a week or so and when I came back I saw of each of them is plant 90% dead. The d...
view the full question and answer

Leaves dropping from a potted Mesquite
August 11, 2014 - I have a Prosopis pubescens (Screwbean Mesquite) that I purchased at a nursery in Alpine, TX just a few miles away from me. It was a in nursery style black plastic container. The mesquite is perhaps a...
view the full question and answer

Hollies not retaining leaves in Tulsa
August 10, 2008 - I have Little Red Hollies that have lost their leaves, some areas being bald. They are also not full - you can see through them. These were planted in this condition Spring of '08 and have been wat...
view the full question and answer

Is sulfurous well water affecting leaves on trees in Belton TX
November 07, 2011 - We installed an irrigation system for our buffalo grass lawn last spring. The grass is fine but the leaves on the trees are burned where the water hits them. I suspect that the well we are using fo...
view the full question and answer

Berms to hold water around roots
December 05, 2008 - I planted new flower beds this November. There are currently dirt 'berms' around each plant - creating a well for water to seep into the immediate plant area. How can I keep these berms from erodi...
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.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center