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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

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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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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

Texas frogfruit
Phyla nodiflora

More Turf Questions

Habiturf for shady areas in San Antonio TX
November 08, 2013 - Will the Habiturf grass mentioned here do well in shady areas too?
view the full question and answer

Roots of live oak in lawn from Round Rock TX
June 24, 2011 - I live on a cul-de-sac and have a small triangle shape yard. There is a large live oak in the middle of the yard. I am concerned because large bark covered roots have emerged on two sides of the tre...
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Pros and cons of Hydrocotyl bonariensis as lawn replacement
March 22, 2008 - Want to convert lawn TO dollar weed! My Garland TX yard has become so shady over the years that I have a hard time with grass. A few years ago I noticed dollar weed in the grass which seemed to cre...
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Buffalograss to replace non-native St. Augustine lawn in Rockport TX
February 16, 2010 - I currently have a St. Augustine lawn that is being overtaken by weeds. I would like to replace it with buffalo grass. How do I prepare my lawn in order to seed it with the buffalo grass and how tol...
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Why are there no low-mow lawn grasses composed of only native fescues?
September 09, 2014 - Dear SP, Most blends of ecograss I see are a combination of non-native and native fescues (and sometimes buffalo grass, blue grama, etc.). Why are there (apparently) none that are composed entirely of...
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