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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.

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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.

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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!

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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


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December 05, 2011 - Mr. Smarty Plants, I am in the process of planning a new lawn in my front yard. We have decided to plant the Habiturf seed mix (thank you, by the way). Originally, we planned on installing a spri...
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April 23, 2015 - Is it possible to grow Habiturf in Riverside, California, in the area of UC Riverside? The climate is similar to the desert areas or Arizona, just slightly cooler in the Summer. If not, is there a d...
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September 01, 2009 - I am interested in finding out more about low water lawns and was wondering if you have resources you might suggest. We have replanted with varying types of grass several times and my front lawn cont...
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Grassburs in native lawn in Utopia TX
June 22, 2010 - I recently planted native Texas grass (Buffalograss, blue grama & curly mesquite) at my new house in the hill country. I had to bring in all the top soil. The grass is doing great, but in one area o...
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Alternative to Habiturf™ for San Franciso area
October 05, 2014 - Will Habiturf thrive in San Francisco? My current sod lawn is dying because the soil has become extremely hard. I'll replace the top couple of inches but underneath is a mix of sand and clay.
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