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

Saturday - April 28, 2012

From: Spicewood, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Problem Plants
Title: Eliminating KR? Bluestem from St. Augustine Yard in Spicewood, TX
Answered by: Mike Tomme

QUESTION:

How can I eradicate bluestem grass invading my St. Augustine lawn?

ANSWER:

The short answer is that your best bet is to get out there and dig up the offending plant.

This is kind of an awkward question for Mr. Smarty Plants since the mission of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is to promote the use of native plants and it appears that you have a situation where one non-native species is invading another non-native species.

You don't specifically identify the bluestem you are having a problem with, but Mr. Smarty Plants suspects you are talking about King Ranch bluestem (Bothriochloa ischaemum var. songarica), frequently referred to as KR bluestem or KRB.

KR bluestem was introduced from Europe and Asia, and has greatly increased its range by cultivation for livestock forage and as an inclusion in seed mixes used to stabilize roadsides by highway departments. When it was introduced in the 1920s and 1930s it was seen as a desirable species for erosion control since it is drought resistant and quickly establishes itself. This plant is now considered an invasive species and its presence threatens the abundance and diversity of native species.

St. Augustine is also non-native that has been imported from tropical regions.

Here is another Mr. Smarty Plants answer to a similar question with a link to an even earlier answer that goes into some detail about eliminating KR. You'll see that the methods discussed are probably not practical in a home yard, so back to the digging.

 

More Problem Plants Questions

Containing roots in Kaysville UT
October 26, 2009 - I'm planting my yard in all native Rocky Mountain and Great Basin plants. Is there a way to halt or contain the root propagation of Smooth Leaf Sumac and Quaking Aspen? I've considered digging dow...
view the full question and answer

Eliminating ragweed in Sacramento CA
May 16, 2012 - Rag weed. How to be rid of it! My wife and lots of others that live in this part of Sacramento suffer greatly.
view the full question and answer

Eliminating non-native Asian Jasmine in Austin
December 02, 2010 - I have a large bed in front of the house full of jasmine that was planted by the builder 25 years ago. What suggestions do you have to eliminate it and prepare the bed to plant native flowers and pl...
view the full question and answer

Plants to grow in shady area near a pecan tree in Maryland
March 26, 2013 - I live on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. I have planted only natives in my front lawn. My backyard, which sports a pecan tree, fir, fig tree, and others I can't identify is dirt, just dirt. I have...
view the full question and answer

Dietes bicolor invasive from Brisbane Australia
April 01, 2013 - We have dietes bicolor growing in our garden. I am changing the type of garden and cannot seem to kill it. I've dugged it out, spent too many weekends pulling out every new shoot, used poison, but t...
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