En Español

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

Groundcover for sunny yard in New Jersey
July 23, 2008 - Hi. I'm looking for ground cover for a mostly sunny section of my yard. The ground we are looking to cover is next to a slight hill with in a few feet of an in ground pool. I would like something tha...
view the full question and answer

Low Groundcover for Washington State
February 03, 2015 - I'm trying to find a perfect fit for my piece of land in the State of Washington. I would say that the area is partly sunny and a somewhat moist area. I'm looking for a species of very small everg...
view the full question and answer

Groundcover called Jumping Jacks
August 19, 2009 - My neighbor has a beautiful ground cover and she doesn't know the name and I have searched the nurseries and internet and can not find it. She says it spreads like crazy and when she was young they c...
view the full question and answer

Possible ground covers under pine trees in Illinois
April 18, 2006 - Have pine trees in front of house. No luck with the lawn around them....was told it's because of ground acidity. Any tips on how to get a lawn to grow there? If not, can you suggest some ground cover...
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

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center