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

Protecting plants from birds near bird feeder
April 24, 2009 - I am happy to have several cardinal pairs living in my yard, but I need to discourage them from eating & destroying my purple heart planted under the huge cedar that holds my bird feeders. The cardina...
view the full question and answer

Oak leaf fall causing ivy damage
August 28, 2007 - I read the A/Q in the Austin American-Statesman Saturday, August 25, regarding the leaves falling now from the live oaks. I am experiencing the same thing, but it is the leaves of my post oaks that a...
view the full question and answer

Taking stock in where and what you grow in Denver Colorado
December 22, 2011 - I have two year old stock plants growing in a container in my home and they are finally starting to bloom. However, the buds open but don't produce any petals. Also they are experiencing yellow leave...
view the full question and answer

Strange produce from non-native lemon seed in Houma LA
April 03, 2010 - I grow a lemon tree from a seed. I grafted it from the same tree a year or so later. It is 15 years old and it only produce one year. The question is, the year it produce, the fruit was a pink grap...
view the full question and answer

Thorns on non-native orange trees in Greenwell Springs, LA
April 26, 2009 - Navel orange tree has thorns, why is this?
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