Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Monday - April 06, 2015

From: Cypress, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Groundcovers, Turf, Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Native Grasses for Houston, TX
Answered by: Larry Larson

QUESTION:

What native grasses can I use for my lawn in Houston, TX? It appears that Habiturf is not recommended for our climate. Is there another variety of seed available yet that I can use to start a small lawn?

ANSWER:

   It’s not really the climate that is of issue.  The individual grasses that make up Habiturf are well suited for a full sun and don't do well in shade (less than 2 hours or sun per day) or part shade (2 to 6 hours of sun per day) and buffalograss doesn't like sand.

In my process, I checked what has been already published on Mr. Smarty Plants, there seems to be plenty there. Here are a series of question/answer pairs regarding grasses near Houston; they contain both plant suggestions and good advice.

Looking for a native turf grass for the Houston area 

How Can I Replace my Lawn with Natives in Houston, Texas 

Native grass mix suitable for Houston  

Seeds to plant a short grass prairie near Houston  

You might also check the "Native Groundcovers" list on the Houston Chapter of NPSOT's Native Plant Guide for possibilities of a groundcover or groundcovers to use on your lawn.

 

From the Image Gallery


Sideoats grama
Bouteloua curtipendula

Purpletop tridens
Tridens flavus

Buffalograss
Bouteloua dactyloides

Curly mesquite grass
Hilaria belangeri

Horseherb
Calyptocarpus vialis


More Turf Questions

Evergreen plants for shaded lawn in Austin, Texas
December 31, 2009 - I want to replace three scrawny ligustrums on the shady north front of my house with native plants. I'd like evergreen plants that don't need much maintenance. I'm not looking for a hedge, but some...
view the full question and answer

How much shade will Thunder Turf (Habiturf) take?
March 20, 2016 - How much shade will Thunder Turf take?
view the full question and answer

Rain garden for South Austin
March 01, 2010 - I have a TINY yard in south Austin. It is 8'x25', sandwiched between four houses and happens to be at the lowest elevation, so all of the neighbor's yards drain to ours. Originally, we had bermud...
view the full question and answer

Brown ryegrass in Austin lawn
June 03, 2008 - We had rye grass planted in our yard last fall. It was beautiful all winter. Now it is brown but the St. Augustine has not yet taken over, so there are large portions of the lawn with an abundance o...
view the full question and answer

Looking for a native turf grass for the Houston area
July 25, 2013 - Looking for a native turf grass for the Houston area. In some of your 2012 responses, you stated that "The good news is that research into turf-type grasses native to the coastal region is in the pla...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.