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 Diseases and Disorders Questions

Problems with Eastern hemlock in Greenville SC
July 02, 2009 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I have a beautiful, young, 5 and a half foot tall Eastern Hemlock. I purchased and planted it two years ago in the fall. It has been doing very well all this spring. And ne...
view the full question and answer

Problems with Carolina Laurel Cherry from Pflugerville, TX
September 02, 2011 - In 2007 we planted 7 Carolina Laurelcherry (Prunus caroliniana)across our back fence. Everything was fine until this year. Three of the trees seemed to get sick and a local arborist said the roots ne...
view the full question and answer

Gaura Plants Dying In PA
July 16, 2014 - I had six gaura plants. They were beautiful last year. Now I have one that is doing well and the others are dying slowly one at a time. I don't understand this. They are on a slight slope and have ...
view the full question and answer

Problems for Texas Madrones from Dripping Springs TX
November 15, 2010 - Dear neighbor: I'm blessed with a property with many Texas Madrone on it. I've been trying for a few years to determine what causes apparently healthy trees to suddenly blacken and die. I've con...
view the full question and answer

Bark of unidentified tree splitting in Merritt Island FL
August 10, 2010 - The bark on this 5 yr. old tree is splitting along its branches, like a sausage link splitting along its sides. Almost as if it is/was over-stuffed. Other than that, there are plenty of leaflets, some...
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