En Espa—ol

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 Drought Tolerant Questions

Fast Growing Shrub for Oceanside New York Site
April 17, 2015 - Can you recommend a tall, fast-growing shrub for a sandy location (near an ocean beach in New York) in full sun? Iím looking for a privacy shield.
view the full question and answer

Native Trees for Pflugerville TX
September 28, 2013 - I'm looking for suggestions on native, drought tolerant conifers that can be located in a Pflugerville landscape under overhead electric lines. Open to Arizona Cypress, but concerned about the height...
view the full question and answer

Privacy screening shrubs from La Quinta CA
July 31, 2013 - I need a solid row of screen tree / shrubs that are at least 10 feet (prefer 12) tall and can be kept trimmed to a narrow (6 foot or less?) width. Will be planted against a 6' cement wall facing west...
view the full question and answer

low-growing evergreen shrubs for thin soil
March 05, 2012 - Thanks to the winter freeze, we'll be starting fresh with the plants in the bed along the front of our house. The bed is about 13' long and faces the west, so it gets afternoon/ evening sun but no ...
view the full question and answer

Ground cover for a bank in PA
April 28, 2012 - I live in Landisburg, PA, (zone 6). I need to find some ground cover for a primarily full sun bank that is roughly 10-12' down over the embankment and up to 100' long. This area wraps around our po...
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