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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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Wednesday - November 10, 2010

From: Dallas, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Watering, Grasses or Grass-like, Shrubs
Title: Irrigation of landscaping project after 1 year in San Antonio
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Hello, I am working on a project in San Antonio where the following vegetation types have been specified: cedar elm, bald cypress, 'Tifway 419' bermuda grass, mountain laurel, esperanza, and lantana 'new gold.' We are considering only having temporary irrigation equipment for the initial growing period (one year), and we are particularly concerned about the fate of the trees and the bermuda grass. We understand that given the climate, permanent irrigation may be necessary, but we would like to avoid it if possible. Is it possible that these vegetation types will survive without irrigation after the growing period, and if not, are there alternates that you would recommend? Thank you!

ANSWER:

The first thing we want to say is we're sorry Cynodon dactylon, bermudagrass was selected. It is a non-native, invasive grass that has become one of the worst weeds in the South. However, since you were given specifications, not choices, you will apparently have to work with it. The bermudagrass can get along with more sun and less water than many more desirable turf grasses, which is why it is over-used. This article Bermudagrass from Texas A&M Cooperative Extension will give you more information on it than we can.

Lantana 'New Gold' is a hybrid of Lantana camara, which is a tropical plant not native to Texas so, again, we have no information on it. You will find some helpful information from this Monrovia Nursery site.

The other plants on your list are all natives in and around Bexar County, and we are going to list them with links to the web pages on each individual plant in our database. You can read the information there on water and sun needs and recommended planting procedures.

Ulmus crassifolia (Cedar elm)

Taxodium distichum (Bald cypress)

Sophora secundiflora (Texas mountain laurel)

Tecoma stans (Yellow bells)

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:


Ulmus crassifolia


Taxodium distichum


Sophora secundiflora


Tecoma stans

 

 

 

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