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
1 rating

Saturday - August 04, 2012

From: Spring Hill, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Muhly grass slow to green up from Spring Hill FL
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Have lots of muhly grass planted 3 yrs ago. This yr about 1/3 are VERY slow. Still look like hay stacks. No pattern in the bed. You mentioned pesticides being too close?

ANSWER:

There is exactly one member of the Muhlenbergia genus native to Florida, Muhlenbergia capillaris (Gulf muhly) and, as you can see from this USDA Plant Profile Map, it is also native to Hernando County, so if that is the grass you have, at least you are growing it in the right place.

As you have been growing this grass for 3 years, you must already be familiar with its growing habits. Since it is a grass, a pesticide that damaged it would have to be either a full-spectrum herbicide or formulated for monocots, or grasses. Without knowing the history of the plant's growth, we really have no way of knowing if wayward puffs of a monocot spray may have reached it. If you have suspicions that is the case, about all you can do is trim the grass down in cooler weather, as you ordinarily do, and hope fresh stalks come up from the roots in the Spring.

However, considering the kind of weather the whole country is having - flooding, drought, heat - we think it more likely this is an environmental problem. If you follow the plant link above to our webpage on this grass, you will learn that it has high water needs, likes full sun and a moist soil. 

From Floridata (which we thought was appropriate) here is more information.

 

From the Image Gallery


Gulf muhly
Muhlenbergia capillaris

Gulf muhly
Muhlenbergia capillaris

Gulf muhly
Muhlenbergia capillaris

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

East Texas grasses for holding soils
September 17, 2008 - Hi Mr. Smarty Plants, I have a question about the East Texas area: Specifically, which natvie grasses can be planted to hold the soil/new roads through the winter? Here is the situation: (Against...
view the full question and answer

Plants to hold a slope in NY
May 17, 2010 - We recently built a house (on a hillside) and now are having some drainage issues on a fairly steep slope (a small creek is forming in the swale the excavator made "deal" with the drainage). Yester...
view the full question and answer

Winter care of native perennials in Austin
October 19, 2008 - Last spring I planted some wildflowers suggested by Deryn Davidson. they did extremely well. I planted-Gulf Muhly,Big Muhly,Red Yucca,Purple Cone Flower,Wine Cup, Large Buttercup And Mealy Blue sage, ...
view the full question and answer

Short or mowable plant for walkway
June 03, 2008 - I'd like a short and/or mowable plant to use as a walkway in and around a vegetable garden in upstate NY. I was planning on clover, but I want to use a native plant if possible. The native clovers ...
view the full question and answer

Corn gluten on Habiturf from Austin
January 25, 2014 - I live in Central Austin. This past Spring 2013) I replaced my San Augustine lawn with Habiturf. My question concerns corn gluten. It is usually applied in late Jan - mid Feb. Would using corn glu...
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