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

Friday - November 03, 2006

From: Dallas, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Native plants to make houses for sale more attractive
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I could use your suggestions: I have 2 small houses in Dallas which I am trying to sell, and would like to beautify -- with plants. Currently there are no shrubs or groundcover or trees -- nor anyone living there to water them regularly. I know that this is a really challenging situation, but I wonder if you just might know of any hardy natives which might establish themselves easily and provide some form and color. Many thanks for any and all suggestions, and also places these plants might be available around the Oak Cliff area or anywhere near there.

ANSWER:

Buffalo grass (Buchloe dactyloides) is a great ground cover for sunny areas and it sounds as if the areas around your houses might be sunny. It requires little water and little mowing. You can sow seeds, put it in with plugs, or lay sod. It will require a little bit of water to establish it as plugs or sod, but once the roots are established you shouldn't have to water it.

Yuccas are plants that require little care, have interesting foliage, and produce a nice bloom in the spring. Arkansas yucca (Yucca arkansana) and Pale-leaf yucca (Yucca pallida) are both native to the Blackland Prairie. Red yucca (Hesperaloe parviflora) will also do well in the Dallas area.

For low, sub-shrubs that require little water, you could use Texas lantana (Lantana urticoides) and Fern acacia (Acacia angustissima). Taller shrubs that need little care or water are Fragrant sumac (Rhus aromatica), Cenizo (Leucophyllum frutescens) and Black dalea (Dalea frutescens).

Here are four trees that should work:
American elm (Ulmus americana)
Cedar elm (Ulmus crassifolia)
Honey mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa)
Texas persimmon (Diospyros texana)
You can also select trees using your criteria by visiting the Texas Tree Planting Guide from the Texas Forest Service and Texas A&M.

To find nurseries in your area that specialize in native plants, you can visit our National Suppliers Directory

 

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Making a pollinator garden
August 11, 2014 - Hello, I have a ditch right by my house and I want to turn it into a pollinator garden using native plants. My problem is, right now it's so full of weeds that we have to mow those down so soon. For ...
view the full question and answer

Removing St. Augustine for natives in Grapevine TX
September 29, 2012 - We have St Augustine in our yard and we hate it. It guzzles water, we have to cut it often, and it's thick and hard to work with. Anyway, we want to replace it with a combination of some kind of g...
view the full question and answer

Turf grasses and alternatives for NH
October 23, 2010 - I live in Hancock, NH, just north of Peterborough. We just bought a relatively new house that pretty-much has no lawn and minimal landscaping. Can you (or anyone) suggest native lawn grass alternati...
view the full question and answer

Plants for a sunny sloped roadside in Ohio
May 31, 2010 - I am looking for a solution to a slope that cannot be easily mowed. Our yard is flat until you get about 15 feet from the road at which point it angles up to a small 5 foot area next to the road. I ...
view the full question and answer

Revegetating a hillside in western Washington state
October 10, 2012 - Removing several downed trees across my dock demolished the native plants growing on the hillside and the contractor pulled out their remains. The area faces east on an open freshwater bay. Close to...
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