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?

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

Tuesday - June 28, 2011

From: Plano, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Will non-native St. Augustine crowd out non-native bermudagrass in Plano TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have Bermuda sod via builder, looked great for 3+ years. then had crack house neighbors max weeds for 2+ years. Killing them (the weeds) had a toll on the grass. Now a fifth of the LOSER neighbors are putting down St Augustine and it is rampant. Should I give in and let it rule? The only thing that hurts it is Image crab grass killer, but again it puts the hurt on the bermuda.

ANSWER:

Some of your problems Mr. Smarty Plants is not equipped to deal with, but we can help you out with the grasses. First, please step away from the spray can. Image is a post-emergent killer of broad-leaf weeds, which means it not only won't kill the St. Augustine, but can't get at the underground stolons of both grasses. Meanwhile, applications of too much is only polluting your soil and will eventually be washed away to drain into the water supply

Now, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is committed to the growth, protection and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which those plants grow natively. Both grasses you are dealing with are non-native, and we would not recommend either of them. On the other hand, you seem determined to have a conventional lawn, for which there may not be many good native choices.

To answer your main question, will the St. Augustine crowd out the Bermudagrass? Not likely. We don't know what the sun and shade situations in the adjoining yards are, but St. Augustine is often used because it can tolerate shade. It also requires more water than most lawn grasses. Bermudagrass, on the other hand, can survive without so much water and does not thrive in shade. So, if your lawn is in the sun and you don't over-water it, the St. Augustine is not going to be able to compete with the Bermudagrass. And, even if it does, they are both grasses, they are both green. Just mow them and don't stress out so much.

One last word on your Bermudagrass-it is considered one of the worst invasive weeds in the South, so it's just as well you like it, you're probably going to keep on having it.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Non-native and invasive bamboos from Staten Island, NY
May 19, 2013 - Hi I put some black Bamboo and some bias Bamboo in a large container about 6ft by 2ft and ht 18 inches .How can I get this Bamboo to thrive ? Suggestions on types of plant food or fertilizer or ant t...
view the full question and answer

Toxicity of non-native Royal Empress tree
April 23, 2009 - We want to plant some fast-growing trees for shade for my horses. My friend wants to use Royal Empress trees. Can you tell me if these are toxic to horses (and also goats)? I have a lot of clay in t...
view the full question and answer

Sweet cherry tree for New Mexico
January 23, 2013 - What is the best kind of sweet cherry tree to plant in Santa Fe, NM? I have apple, apricot, peach and pear. Would like cherry unless it is a bad idea.
view the full question and answer

Trimming spineless yucca in Chicago
April 05, 2011 - I have a spineless yucca (indoors) which is 11 feet tall and thirty-five years old. When the yucca recently started to scrape the ceiling, I moved it away (roughly 20 feet) from the windows to an area...
view the full question and answer

Is cement leaching into flower beds in Colorado Springs?
May 16, 2009 - I have posed this question to a number of garden centers in our area around Colorado Springs--only to rec. a repeated--"Gee, I don't know." When we moved to our new home there was a rock concrete ...
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