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?


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
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - May 01, 2013

From: Smithville, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Invasive Plants, Non-Natives, Pests, Groundcovers, Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Removing bermudagrass from buffalograss in Smithville TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford


I have a lawn created two years ago with buffalo grass sod in Smithville, TX. Recently several areas of bermudagrass have started to flourish in the buffalo grass lawn. Can you recommend a herbicide that will eliminate or minimize the bermudagrass without killing the buffalo grass?


Begin by reading From our How-to Article Native Lawns: Buffalograss to see if you planted Bouteloua dactyloides (Buffalograss) in enough sun (needs 6 hours or more of sun a day), prepared the lawn properly by clearing out weeds, etc. Also notice the last two paragraphs saying that you need mow only once a year, and also not to water too much because that encourages bermudagrass. Also follow the plant link to our webpage on this native grass to learn other characteristics. According to this USDA Plant Profile Map, buffalograss does grow natively in Bastrop County, TX. We always check on that to ensure that climate, soils and rainfall are suitable for the plant in question.

A previous Mr. Smarty Plants answer will help you with the separation of the bermudagrass and the buffalograss.

For more information, go to this UC Integrated Pest Management site on Bermudagrass. One thing in particular you must know: Both buffalograss and bermudagrass are members of the Poaceae (grass) family; therefore, both are monocots. There are herbicides which kill only monocots and those that kill only dicots. There are also herbicides which will scorch the earth and kill anything it touches. Use none of the above.


From the Image Gallery

Bouteloua dactyloides

Bouteloua dactyloides

Bouteloua dactyloides

More Non-Natives Questions

Replacing yellow bells with hibiscus from San Antonio
July 03, 2012 - Help! Will the roots of the yellow bells keep sprouting if I've removed the shrub? I'm replacing it with a hibiscus shrub. Will it do well in the same spot where the yellow bells were?
view the full question and answer

Plant mistakes from Cedar Park, TX
April 09, 2014 - At our "Wilts End" in Cedar Park, TX. and are looking for a tall shrub/tree that will hide a 6-ft tall concrete wall and muffle the noise from a busy street. The wall forms a very wide-angled V shap...
view the full question and answer

Ridding non-native centipede grass of native rattlesnake weed in Myrtle Beach SC
April 25, 2010 - How do I get rid of "rattlesnake weed" in my lawn of centipede grass in Myrtle Beach SC?
view the full question and answer

Why is non-native, invasive dandelion called a wildflower?
January 24, 2007 - Why is a dandelion a wildflower? {I read it in a book.}
view the full question and answer

Nativity of various bulbs
October 15, 2014 - Are the following bulbs native? Chionodoxa forbesii Camassia leichflinii Crocus Sprint tommasinianus Barr's Purple Hyacinthoides hispanica Narcissus 'Actea' Scilla siberica 'Spring Beauty' ...
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.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center