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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 - May 04, 2015

From: San Antonio, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Effect of heavy rains on Lindheimer Muhly
Answered by: Guy Thompson

QUESTION:

It is April 2015, in San Antonio we've had very heavy rains recently. My Lindheimer muhly, which was looking beautiful, has now turned brown all over. Is this normal or is this a problem?

ANSWER:

I suspect that the Muhlenbergia lindheimeri (Lindheimer's muhly) was waterlogged for too long during the rains.  Some Internet websites, such as this, mention that this grass tolerates only short periods of soil saturation.  

Your muhly may not have survived this rainy spell.  But watch the plant closely to see if it shows signs of a comeback in the form of a few green leaves protruding from the base  It might be a good idea to cut off the dead leaves to get a better view of any new leaves.  Also check the bed where the plant is located.  You may want to consider installing a French drain or mixing decomposed granite into the soil to improve drainage during future heavy rain.

 

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