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

Tuesday - October 15, 2013

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Questions on non-native St. Augustine from Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have St. Augustine grass in my yard. I am having work done in my yard soon, which will require new sod. I know the St. Augustine has to take root in the ground before the first freeze, to assure that the new sod will not die. About how long does it take for St. Augustine to become well-rooted at this time of year?

ANSWER:

Sorry, wrong number. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, home of Mr. Smarty Plants, is dedicated to the growth, protection and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which those plants are to be grown; in your case, Travis County, TX. Stenotaphrum secundatum, St. Augustine grass, is believed to be originally native to Africa.

Here are a few resources we wish you would look at before you decide what sod to put down:

Austin Statesman, Sept.18, 2011 - Austin will pay to let St. Augustine die, sow a less thirsty lawn.

New York Times, August 12, 2013 - Arid Southwest Cities Plea: Lose the Lawn

Follow this link to our article on Habiturf - Species Mix for North, West and Central Texas. Then, you would probably be interested in our article Native Lawns. This includes some pictures and some research information comparing Habiturf with other, non-native, lawns.

 

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Pruning of non-native abelias in Fair Oaks Ranch, TX
January 24, 2011 - I have some old established Abelias that are leggy at the bottom. Can I cut them back, and if so, how far and best time to do so?
view the full question and answer

Deer resistant plants for Trinity, TX
March 23, 2013 - I need a list of deer resistant flowers, herbs and plants that would could be planted in Trinity, Texas.
view the full question and answer

Division of non-native Lamb's Ear plant in Austin
May 17, 2010 - I have a lambs' ear plant that has gone wild, and I would like to divide and transplant part of the plant. Advice? Live in Austin, TX. 78757
view the full question and answer

Possibly escaped non-native Buddleja davidii in Missouri
March 15, 2006 - About 3 years ago my wife and I were traveling thru southeastern Missouri and stopped at a road side rest station on Interstate 44. While we were there we noticed a shrub about 4 to 5 feet tall with p...
view the full question and answer

Care of Ecuadorian penco century plant
December 17, 2007 - I was recently given a Penco, Century plant from Ecuador. It doesn't seem to be doing well. Two of the leaves have turned dark, then yellow, and died completely. Five remain, one seems to be dying as...
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