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

Friday - February 24, 2012

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Drought Tolerant, Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Replacing St. Augustine with native grass in Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

We are renting a house our Sister-in-law owns- the St Augustine is in tough shape, drought and lack of care over the years. Could we plant a native grass or do we have to pull up the remaining St. Augustine? If we have to tear it up, won't be able to do it,so we are looking for a way to convert to a Texas grass, and have it shared with St Augustine. Doable?

ANSWER:

Sorry, we don't much think so. St. Augustine is very widely used in Central Texas, but is native to Africa. It thrives in tropical areas with good rainfall. Doesn't sound much like Central Texas, does it? If it isn't watered and the rains don't come, it will die anyway, but that doesn't solve your problem. We don't blame you for not wanting to put the effort that would be required into a rental. We are going to link you to some of our articles to give you an idea of what would be involved.

Native Lawns

Native Lawns: Habiturf

These articles include information on removing the old lawn by various means, and what is needed to plant the new lawns.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Removing non-native plants appearing in Austin in early spring
March 14, 2012 - In order to know which plants to keep and which to remove, is there a source to look up and identify common non-native plants that are seen in Austin about this time of the year (late winter, early Sp...
view the full question and answer

How to tell the difference between native and non-native thistles
March 13, 2013 - It's thistle time already. There are many plants in the aster family with thistle in their common name. Are "real" thistles only those in the genus Cirsium, or are there others as well? We are tryi...
view the full question and answer

Pruning non-native razzmatazz rose from Canton MI
April 26, 2010 - I have 5 "hardy" rosebushes called "Razzamatazz" which are about 3 years old. I don't know how to prune them properly. I do cut the dead bloom back just before the "leaf of 5", which seems to...
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native gardenias in San Ramon, CA
July 11, 2009 - I have a Gardenia tree planted in my front yard that gets shade and sun. It is dropping leaves and the leaves that are left are yellow. I had been watering it every day, but decreased that to every ot...
view the full question and answer

Identification of stem from a bouquet
January 02, 2012 - I have a stem with leaves that came in a bouquet May 2011. They are still healthy in a vase of water tho they have no roots, just stem. On the back center of each leaf are protrusions half an inch lon...
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center