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
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

Replacing non-native iceplant in El Cajon CA
June 11, 2010 - Help! We are clearing fungus dead iceplant on a massive steep bank. Should I avoid replacing it with more iceplant? Would myaporum prostrate be a better option? Fast growing, erosion resistant, zero m...
view the full question and answer

Groundcover beneath a maple
January 24, 2009 - I am looking for something to spread out in the shade of a maple tree. I have tried lily of the valley, ferns, pachysandra, ivy, hosta, euonymus.. nothing spreads out.
view the full question and answer

Mystery Ground Cover in WI
July 11, 2011 - I am trying to identify a ground cover plant that has started growing in my yard (I'm in central Wisconsin). It is very short, only about 1-2 inches tall and is very thick covering the ground. It h...
view the full question and answer

Groundcover to prevent erosion in Florida
November 04, 2012 - I live on a hill and put in a new side driveway and now I am seeing erosion along the driveway and can see the bottom of my concrete. Grass won't grow because its all shaded. What would be the best g...
view the full question and answer

Strong groundcover for Southern California
March 28, 2012 - Need a strong ground cover. Hard time getting anything to grow. Full sun. Prefer some color. Low upkeep. The soil probably isn't great. It is a small hill within a planter.
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