Explore Plants

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
    
 

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
2 ratings

Wednesday - December 12, 2012

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Groundcovers, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Replacing St. Augustine with Horse herb in Austin, TX.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

I'm considering replacing my St. Augustine grass with a Horseherb/Straggler Daisy ground cover, but I've heard that it provides a mosquito breeding habitat, especially if you allow dead leaves to decay beneath it. To minimize this, would I need to keep it well-raked in autumn? What about mowing? Thanks!

ANSWER:

First, lets try to understand the difference between mosquito mating, and mosquito breeding. Mosquito breeding is dependent upon standing water where the female can lay her eggs that hatch into larvae and is an important part of the life cycle. Mating can occur about anywhere, and is not restricted to any particular type of plant. So dead  decaying horse herb leaves would not constitute a mosquito breeding habitat.

Horseherb Calyptocarpus vialis (Straggler daisy) is semi-evergreen, remaining green and blooming year-round in temperate climates. It can go dormant in cold winters. It ordinarily blooms yellow March to November, has low water use, and can do well in sun, part shade or shade. It is a fast growing plant and is considered invasive by some, and has both its detractors and admirers. I’m going to provide you with two links that will give you information about this interesting plant.

    Greatstems.com

    NICE


 

From the Image Gallery


Straggler daisy
Calyptocarpus vialis

Straggler daisy
Calyptocarpus vialis

More Groundcovers Questions

Native plants for heavy clay soil in east Austin
May 02, 2007 - I live in East Austin and have very thick clay soil on my property. I also have a lot of shade and partial sun/shade. Can you suggest some native plant varieties that are well-adapted to these condi...
view the full question and answer

Groundcover for area with impact from rain from roof
June 25, 2010 - The small garden on the side of my townhouse gets some hard rainfall during every storm. We've found ways of redirecting and using much of the rainfall (gutter and downspout to rain barrel, permeable...
view the full question and answer

Ground cover for North Central Texas
January 24, 2009 - I live in north central Texas. My backyard has very fine, powdery sand soil. The previous owners of the property let the grass die out and now every time it gets windy, the sand gets into our patio an...
view the full question and answer

Native plants for morning sun in Pembroke MA
October 07, 2009 - Could you please suggest native groundcover,plants/shrubs/grasses for eastern facing slope which gets morning sun? It is my front yard which slopes down toward driveway so it would be a major focal po...
view the full question and answer

Marbleseed (Onosmodium sp.) propagation and use as groundcover for
October 08, 2007 - I am interested in any information, esp. propagation & suitability as a landscape plant, (possible ground cover?) for marble seed. I have found it growing in deep shade on stream banks. It has a 4--...
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.