Contact Us Host an Event Volunteer Join

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

Saturday - May 05, 2012

From: Missouri City, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Native lawn solution for Southeast Texas from Missouri City TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I noticed the native lawn article regarding Habiturf states it is for "North, West and Central Texas". What is the recommended native lawn solution for Southeast Texas/Gulf Coast (Houston/Galveston)? Thanks

ANSWER:

Sadly, there really is not a native lawn mix (at least not yet) for the area you are interested in. It has taken some time and experimentation to come up with the seed mix that can grow thickly enough to discourage weeds, go with minimum water during drought seasons, and only needs mowing a couple times a year. Another problem is shade-Habiturf needs about 5 hours a day of sun. Lawns beneath trees and other shade are difficult. There are a number of native grasses that will grow in your area and/or tolerate shade, but they are not what could be called lawn grasses.

As we move into more heat and drought, the research team at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is aware of the needs of this sort of grass in many parts of the country, not just Central Texas. Like all research, this is a function of the availability of funds and other resources to make it possible.

In case you have not already done so, please read this article on Habiturf, which shows a 5-minute video on the planting of Habiturf. On the same page are three more links to more information on the subject. You will learn that this is not a do-it-all, sprinkle seeds on top of turf lawn. Would that it were that easy.

 

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Riverbank Plants for Minnesota
September 04, 2013 - I would like to stablize a steep riverbank slope along the Upper Mississippi in St. Cloud MN. The slopes are almost 1:1. We are using an open cell concrete matt in which we are going to plant native...
view the full question and answer

Caring for a wildflower meadow in Austin, TX.
March 22, 2016 - We have a meadow full of wildflowers in the country, bluebonnets, Indian paintbrushes, etc. What can we do to promote continued growth and is there a certain time of year we should mow? Should we fe...
view the full question and answer

Plants for October wedding in Texas Hill Country
October 16, 2009 - I am planning an October wedding at a Texas Hill Country vineyard. I would like to incorporate some local, seasonal plants in the floral design. Can you recommend some hill country plants, flowers, ...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting Muhly grass in late summer from Wimberley TX
August 02, 2012 - Can I transplant Muhly grass in July/August?
view the full question and answer

Trimming of cordgrass plants
November 20, 2007 - We have planted more than 150 cordgrass plants (spartina bakeri) along the edges of the small pond at our condominium complex to try to prevent any further soil erosion between the buildings and the p...
view the full question and answer

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