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
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - July 24, 2013

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Turf, Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Problem with Habiturf. Is it dormant or dead?
Answered by: Nan Hampton and Mark Simmons

QUESTION:

We planted habiturf in spring 2012. It's beautiful. But since last summer, we have had one area that seems to go dormant much more rapidly than the rest, even though it receives the same amount of water, same treatments, no major difference in sunlight. Today, after a half inch of rain yesterday, this area has turned a deep brown, (never did this before) and now appears to be spreading. Any idea what's happening? Could you post close-up photos of what the dormant stage is supposed to look like? I have trouble distinguishing between "dead" and "dormant."

ANSWER:

I contacted Dr. Mark Simmons, Director of Ecosystem Design Group at the Lady Bird Johsnon Wildflower Center and chief researcher and developer of Habiturf™.  He has Habiturf™ on his own lawn. He says your problem sounds to him like dormancy.  He has a place on his lawn that goes dormant early even though it gets water at the same rate as the rest of the lawn.  The reason that it goes dormant is that there is a large piece of limestone underneath that section so the soil doesn't hold moisture as well.  He doesn't think it is disease.  If it is, it would be a first since there have been no reports of die-off thus far.  Recovery from dormancy can take up to 10 days with available moisture.  At present, Dr. Simmons is out of town but he will try to post photos of dormant grass when he is back at the Wildflower Center.

 

More Diseases and Disorders Questions

Something killing evergreens on Long Island from Baldwin NY
June 06, 2011 - What seems to be killing so many of the evergreens on Long Island - see more and more dying each day - doesn't seem to be a rhyme or reason - can it be helped? Many thanks.
view the full question and answer

Tip Dieback on Lonicera sempervirens
August 14, 2013 - I have a Lonicera sempervirens (coral honeysuckle) vine in Virginia which does well early in the season, but then around July, the very tips of its shoots (just the last 1-2 inches) wither, turn black...
view the full question and answer

Advisability of trimming oak trees in August
July 13, 2007 - In general,what is your opinion on pruning oak trees in August? If it is positive, should the extreme moisture of this year affect the timing?
view the full question and answer

Premature leaf drop on Red Maple in Kentucky
June 25, 2008 - I have a ten foot Red Maple tree that has been set out for 4 years. Its leaves have slowly turned colors until it currently looks like fall. The leaves are not falling off nor is there yet any s...
view the full question and answer

Ash tree dying back to lower sprouts in Kempner TX
June 19, 2010 - My 2 year old ash tree leaves dropped, appears dead, branches dying. New growth near base of tree. Do I cut upper trunk or remove entire tree? My other ash is doing well.
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