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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Thursday - January 22, 2015

From: La Grange, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Xeriscapes, Drought Tolerant, Groundcovers, Grasses or Grass-like, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Plants for a sunny, sandy site in Central Texas
Answered by: Guy Thompson

QUESTION:

I live between La Grange and Schulenburg, Texas. My soil is sandy. Full sun, no trees. I am a senior citizen with limited funds who is allergic to Rye and Bermuda grass. I tried planting a lawn of just various types of mint plants but most of the mint has died and is not spreading. What type of drought tolerant ground cover or grass do you recommend for full sun and sandy soil about 1500 square feet. I read about Habiturf and the directions state it is NOT for sandy soil. I looked at Eco-Grass but am not certain it will live in the heat. Any help you can give me will be greatly appreciated! Thank you for your time.

ANSWER:

You can check through a list of plants suitable for your setting and choose those that seem desirable.  I picked out a few from the list that seemed especially well suited.  Bouteloua rigidiseta (Texas grama) and Bouteloua curtipendula (Sideoats grama) are grasses that do well in sandy soil.  Low-growing forbs include Callirhoe involucrata (Winecup)Dalea greggii (Gregg dalea)Chrysactinia mexicana (Damianita) and Coreopsis lanceolata (Lanceleaf coreopsis).  Somewhat taller-growing plants would be Asclepias tuberosa (Butterflyweed)Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. wrightii (Flame acanthus) and Ageratina havanensis (Shrubby boneset).  

 

From the Image Gallery


Texas grama
Bouteloua rigidiseta

Sideoats grama
Bouteloua curtipendula

Winecup
Callirhoe involucrata

Gregg dalea
Dalea greggii

Lanceleaf coreopsis
Coreopsis lanceolata

Butterflyweed
Asclepias tuberosa

Shrubby boneset
Ageratina havanensis

Flame acanthus
Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. wrightii

Damianita
Chrysactinia mexicana

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