Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Best way to plant sedges on a slope in Fairfax, VA.
March 20, 2012 - Best way to plant sedges on a slope. WE are in the LONG process of trying to convert our backyard to a native wildlife friendly habitat. The slope is about 30 degress and it's a large space 1/2 acr...
view the full question and answer

Native grass mix suitable for Houston
December 10, 2009 - Do you have a native grass mix that is appropriate to the Houston area- or will the one you have developed to this point work as well here as it does in Central Texas? If not, when will you begin to ...
view the full question and answer

Source for nitrates and phosphorus (P205) for lawn care
July 04, 2008 - I recently supplied soil samples from my back yard to my local extension here in Austin. I have a hybrid Bermuda turf grass (TIF 419) that has had its share of ups and downs, and wanted to assess the ...
view the full question and answer

Ground cover under Spruces from West Chester PA
December 06, 2012 - Trying to get a native groundcover (or any grass/wildflower/fern) planting established under a small stand of spruces. Established stand (30+ years old), so lots of needles on ground. Just about tot...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen native plants for slope in South Carolina
July 14, 2008 - We would like to plant an evergreen garden in our backyard, which is on a slope. It receives the sun from approx 9-4. We have an above ground pool, and patio area. Would also like a recommendation of ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.