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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 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


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July 03, 2014 - Five weeks ago, we planted a Habiturf lawn in our back yard. The grass looks great and is already about 6 inches. I have two questions to solve before we do the front yard. We have lots of purslane m...
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Interaction of Habiturf and St. Augustine grasses from Willow City TX
April 16, 2012 - How does Habiturf and St. Augustine interact? Does one dominate the other? Can you plant them in close areas? Thank you.
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