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

Tuesday - September 01, 2009

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Drought Tolerant
Title: Straw that broke the camel's back.
Answered by: Damon Waitt

QUESTION:

Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I keep forgetting which day I am supposed to water and my St. Augustine lawn has turned into the neighborhood eyesore. Where can I go to learn more about this drought tolerant "native plant" gardening I'm hearing so much about?

ANSWER:

Dear St. Augustine,

Today is your lucky day. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center partners with the University of Texas at Austin Informal Classes in an informal education program designed to teach adults about the sustainable use and conservation of native wildflowers, plants and landscapes. In the fall series of classes, students will learn about the benefits of native plants in a fun and interactive environment at the Wildflower Center's beautiful facility in south Austin.

The Fall Series of native plant gardening classes starts September 19th and includes:

Native Garden Design - Proper design will help ensure a successful native plant garden.

Native Plants I & II - Choosing the right native plants for your garden is both art and science. In this class you will learn about common and botanical names, basic garden ecology, plant requirements, and how to create a planting plan.

Installation - This class covers site preparation, irrigation, best planting times and techniques, and mulches and mulch application.

Maintenance - Topics will include selecting the right tools for the job, watering guidelines and water conservation, fertilizers, soil additives, mulches, pruning, trimming, mowing, grooming, cold and heat protection, gardening hazards and gardener's health.

Pests 101 - This class will introduce you to native plant diseases, garden pests, insects and weeds.

Registration for Go Native U is arranged through the University of Texas at Austin Informal Classes. Sign up for all six courses in the Native Plant Gardening sequence and receive a 10% discount on your registration. Call 512.471.9683 for the discount. 

 

 

More Drought Tolerant Questions

Water-saving strategies of drought-tolerant plants
April 04, 2014 - Although "drought tolerant" plants are fairly well documented, it's clear that many different strategies are responsible, such as a huge root system (like Mesquite). I'm interested in learning the...
view the full question and answer

Will Sotol (Dasylirion wheeleri thrive in caliche soil?
December 02, 2014 - I live on a high hill in the Hamilton Pool area outside of Austin. I am looking to plant a Dasylirion wheeleri that I grew from seed collected in New Mexico aria East Of Soccoro. I am wondering if the...
view the full question and answer

A Bounty of Edibles for New Braunfels Texas
October 25, 2013 - I was hoping you could suggest a few plants that would serve several purposes. I live in New Braunfels, TX and would like to incorporate as many drought tolerant plants which would support birds, but...
view the full question and answer

Privacy screening shrubs from La Quinta CA
July 31, 2013 - I need a solid row of screen tree / shrubs that are at least 10 feet (prefer 12) tall and can be kept trimmed to a narrow (6 foot or less?) width. Will be planted against a 6' cement wall facing west...
view the full question and answer

Planting Suggestions for a Lake Home in Wayne County, MO
April 03, 2014 - We have a lake home in Wayne County, MO at Lake Wappapello. The soil is very rocky. We recently cleared an area around our home of assorted dead trees, some cedars and what seemed like tons of vines. ...
view the full question and answer

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