Contact Us Host an Event Volunteer Join

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

Friday - February 24, 2012

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Drought Tolerant, Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Replacing St. Augustine with native grass in Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

We are renting a house our Sister-in-law owns- the St Augustine is in tough shape, drought and lack of care over the years. Could we plant a native grass or do we have to pull up the remaining St. Augustine? If we have to tear it up, won't be able to do it,so we are looking for a way to convert to a Texas grass, and have it shared with St Augustine. Doable?

ANSWER:

Sorry, we don't much think so. St. Augustine is very widely used in Central Texas, but is native to Africa. It thrives in tropical areas with good rainfall. Doesn't sound much like Central Texas, does it? If it isn't watered and the rains don't come, it will die anyway, but that doesn't solve your problem. We don't blame you for not wanting to put the effort that would be required into a rental. We are going to link you to some of our articles to give you an idea of what would be involved.

Native Lawns

Native Lawns: Habiturf

These articles include information on removing the old lawn by various means, and what is needed to plant the new lawns.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Supplier for non-native Norfolk Pine to East Texas
March 17, 2013 - I would like to buy a Norfolk Pine Tree for my uncle who lives 90 miles east of Dallas, Texas. He saw my Norfolk Pine tree in CA which is 30 to 40 ft. tall. Where can I find a company that will ship...
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native photinia in Austin
October 07, 2013 - Hi, I live in Cedar Park, TX (Austin Suburb)and have planted a number of Photinia shrubs in various areas of my property. All about 10 months old. The leaves are curling along their length on many...
view the full question and answer

Are non-natives, Dappled willow and Kousa dogwood, toxic to horses?
May 27, 2009 - Are dappled willow trees/bushes or kousa dogwood trees toxic to horses?
view the full question and answer

Spots on non-native naval orange trees from Stockton CA
October 20, 2012 - I have two mature Navel Orange trees. One tree has developed spotty chlorophyl depleted areas that were not on the oranges when they were smaller. In addition, the oranges on both trees are smaller ,...
view the full question and answer

Coconut in a husk from Round Rock TX
January 26, 2011 - Looking for a coconut in its complete husk ?
view the full question and answer

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