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 Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Mowing frequency of native lawn from Georgetown TX
August 18, 2012 - I have a native grass and wildflower lawn. At what frequency and when should the lawn be mowed?
view the full question and answer

Plants for slopes in South Texas
October 05, 2009 - Can you provide a list of plants for use on slopes in S. Texas?
view the full question and answer

What is pulling Indian Grass out of a park in Washington DC?
June 29, 2011 - We are renovating a park in Washington, DC on the waterfront. We have planted Sorghastrum Nutans (Indian Grass). During the evening/overnight something is pulling the plants from the ground. It is onl...
view the full question and answer

Native Hill Country grasses, flowers for April garden show
March 17, 2005 - I will be a first ever (!) exhibitor in my garden club's garden show this April 7. Our theme is The Passion of Texas - my specific category is The Hill Country. Help!!! All materials I use must be al...
view the full question and answer

Propagation of rain, oxblood, and copper lily bulbs
November 30, 2012 - I have Rain Lily, Oxblood Lily, and Copper Lily bulbs out of the ground, that are putting out some green growth. I would like to plant them soon. Is it okay to plant now and in December, or do I hav...
view the full question and answer

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