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

Saturday - May 05, 2012

From: Missouri City, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Native lawn solution for Southeast Texas from Missouri City TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I noticed the native lawn article regarding Habiturf states it is for "North, West and Central Texas". What is the recommended native lawn solution for Southeast Texas/Gulf Coast (Houston/Galveston)? Thanks

ANSWER:

Sadly, there really is not a native lawn mix (at least not yet) for the area you are interested in. It has taken some time and experimentation to come up with the seed mix that can grow thickly enough to discourage weeds, go with minimum water during drought seasons, and only needs mowing a couple times a year. Another problem is shade-Habiturf needs about 5 hours a day of sun. Lawns beneath trees and other shade are difficult. There are a number of native grasses that will grow in your area and/or tolerate shade, but they are not what could be called lawn grasses.

As we move into more heat and drought, the research team at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is aware of the needs of this sort of grass in many parts of the country, not just Central Texas. Like all research, this is a function of the availability of funds and other resources to make it possible.

In case you have not already done so, please read this article on Habiturf, which shows a 5-minute video on the planting of Habiturf. On the same page are three more links to more information on the subject. You will learn that this is not a do-it-all, sprinkle seeds on top of turf lawn. Would that it were that easy.

 

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Post freeze care for Texas native grasses
January 05, 2008 - Can you tell me the best post-freeze care for Tx native grasses in my garden: lindheimer muhly, gulf muhly, inland sea oats. Mexican feather grass. Do I cut them back? Burn them? Leave them alone? T...
view the full question and answer

Looking for grasses for slope around retention pond in Florida
August 02, 2011 - I live in St. Petersburg, FL on a large retention pond. Most of my neighbors on the pond have seawalls. I do not nor do my neighbors to my left and right. I am interested in colorful grasses to put...
view the full question and answer

Mowable sedge for Zone 5, New York
December 07, 2007 - My wife (who is from Austin!) and I have a house in New York, warmish Zone 5. We are seeking a grass-like groundcover for lawn areas ranging from full to partial shade. We have a well-drained hill n...
view the full question and answer

Holding bare soil before sowing native grasses in spring.
November 03, 2009 - I want to try your buffalo/bluegrama/curly mesquite. Right now my yard is ploughed. What should I do until spring? I assume I should add living compost to the top 3", plant bluegrass for now, and ...
view the full question and answer

Plants to prevent erosion in clay soil in Heron, NY
September 07, 2009 - What plants could be used to plant on clay soil, Eastern exposure in full sun to stop erosion on a bay side hill with a steep grade?
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 | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center