Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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
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


Horseherb
Calyptocarpus vialis

Horseherb
Calyptocarpus vialis

More Groundcovers Questions

Ground cover for high traffic area in Pennsylvania
August 01, 2012 - I am wondering if there is a Pennsylvania native turf like grass/plant that can withstand a lot of foot traffic (public area with lots of children). This will be used in a formal setting so will need ...
view the full question and answer

Native plants for groundcover under Magnolia in Austin
April 09, 2009 - What plants native to the Austin, Tx area will do well underneath a large magnolia tree (instead of the English ivy that is there)?
view the full question and answer

Habiturf for East Texas
May 14, 2012 - 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 ...
view the full question and answer

Plants for a mixed border in Houston
February 22, 2010 - I live in Houston and have a flowerbed I'd like to fill with plants that will look good year-round. The back is already lined with 6-foot shrubs so nothing like that. I'd like something with colorf...
view the full question and answer

Ground cover to withstand dog traffic in Michigan
November 02, 2010 - I need a soft ground cover that will grow in sand, and be able to take four big dogs that love to run in the yard. Grass just doesn't make it. Someone suggested that groundcover might work. Thanks...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.