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

Monday - May 14, 2012

From: Dallas, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Groundcovers, Grasses or Grass-like, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Habiturf for East Texas
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

We live in east Texas, right on the beginning of the piney words, the soil is a little sandy. We have taken up a wooden walkway but can't get anything to grow there. Could the soil be dead from year of not having anything grow there under the walkway? Would Habiturf work?

ANSWER:

Without knowing the town and county in Texas (your e-mail address was from Dallas) we will need to refer you to some websites on Habiturf; you can read them and determine if Habiturf is usable there. We doubt that it will be.

Native Lawns: Habiturf - The Ecological Lawn In this article, Habiturf is defined as "a multiple species mix for North, West and Central Texas." Also, you should know that Habiturf requires at least 5 hours a day of sunlight.

We do, however, have a video on preparing soil for Habiturf which we think would be useful for your strip of apparently sterile ground. You might still not be able to grow Habiturf, but it sure would be good dirt when you finished.

Go to our Native Plant Database and, using the Combination Search, first select Texas, and then under Habit, pick grass/grass-like or herbs (herbaceous flowering plants).You can even select the height of plant you are looking for. But you must specify the amount of sun under Light Requirements - that is, Sun is 6 hours or more of sun a day, part shade 2 to 6 hours of sun and shade 2 hours or less of sun a day.

To take this out for a trial run, we are going to specify first grasses, with a 0 to 12" height, and part shade. On the second go-round, specify herbs, and the same height and light. Once you have the database mastered, you can use any criteria or any type plant to make selections for that area or others in your yard.

Grass or Grasslike plants for East Texas in Part Shade:

Carex texensis (Texas sedge)

Juncus tenuis (Poverty rush)

Herbaceous Blooming Plants for Part Shade:

Amblyolepis setigera (Huisache daisy)

Callirhoe involucrata (Winecup)

Calyptocarpus vialis (Straggler daisy)

Chamaecrista fasciculata (Partridge pea)

 

From the Image Gallery


Texas sedge
Carex texensis

Poverty rush
Juncus tenuis

Huisache daisy
Amblyolepis setigera

Winecup
Callirhoe involucrata

Horseherb
Calyptocarpus vialis

Partridge pea
Chamaecrista fasciculata

More Groundcovers Questions

Low-growing plants for a slope in the shade
July 08, 2013 - Hello, I'm looking for native plants to put in the shade (within the drip-line) of a well-established American Holly. The area gets deep shade; it is also on a very gentle north-exposure slope. We ...
view the full question and answer

Ground cover for a clay/shale bank in PA
April 06, 2010 - We have a 200ft x 30ft bank in front of our house (PA) the soil is made up with clay and shale. what ground cover will grow fast
view the full question and answer

Grass installation with plugs from Austin
February 05, 2013 - As much as I would love to use the seed mixture you suggest for Austin, I am not physically able to do the needed prep and was unable last year to get a professional. No one would even call me back wh...
view the full question and answer

Competition between Horseherb and Chickweed
July 04, 2014 - Ok, sorry I did it wrong the 1st time!? I live in Houston, and I have chickens! I also have mass amounts of Horseherb, and I want to buy some chickweed seeds and plant it for my chickens! My question ...
view the full question and answer

Groundcover Suggestion for OK
April 24, 2015 - I need your suggestion for a groundcover for a flower bed in the sun and in the shade in Oklahoma.
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 | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center