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

Monday - December 19, 2011

From: San Antonio, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Pruning, Seasonal Tasks, Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Burning back Gulf Muhly instead of trimming from San Antonio
Answered by: Barbara Medford and Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

A few years ago I noticed that the Center burned back its Gulf Muhly rather than cutting it back. Did that study result in any conclusions or recommendations?

ANSWER:

From Joe Marcus, the Wildflower Center's Collections Manager and a member of the Mr. Smarty Plants Team:

"We’ve had so much rain lately that most burn bans have been lifted, at least temporarily.  You’d have a hard time getting anything at all to burn outside right now.

Gulf muhly has responded well to burning for us.  You would want to burn it – carefully, of course, in January or February."

We want to caution that this is the situation now. We are expecting more drought and heat, so use common sense-if everything around is tinder dry, the wind is blowing or there is other vegetation close by, we recommend NO FIRE, but hand shearing the grass. 

 

From the Image Gallery


Gulf muhly
Muhlenbergia capillaris

Gulf muhly
Muhlenbergia capillaris

Gulf muhly
Muhlenbergia capillaris

More Seasonal Tasks Questions

Survivability of plants after freeze
December 08, 2003 - I have many beautiful plants that froze. Some were Lantana, Hummingbird Bush, Candlestick Trees, Esperanza, Some flowers, and Marigolds. I love all of my plants and flowers and I want them to grow bac...
view the full question and answer

Will a Norfolk pine survive winter in Houston
May 29, 2008 - If I transplant a Norfolk pine in the summer, or when is the best time, will it survive the winter growing in Houston Tx? Can you give me some suggestions for fast growing vines facing the front of my...
view the full question and answer

Cutting back salvia greggii in Birmingham, AL
February 23, 2010 - When is a good time to cut back salvia gregii and how much can you cut it back. We will probably still have frost. Will it grow in sun and shade?
view the full question and answer

Arrows and Hunting Dogs in Kentucky
December 09, 2009 - Mr. Smarty Plants--Is it normal for our arrowwood viburnum to give off a musky odour in the late fall? The smell reminds me of a wet hunting dog.
view the full question and answer

Trimming native salvias in January
January 17, 2008 - I have heard you can trim Hot Lips, Raspberry and other salvias back severely in January, to about six inches from the ground. Is this correct?
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