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

Will not cutting grass make its roots stronger?
May 27, 2009 - I live on a lake that has a hill. There is some problem with erosion on the hillside. Our association wants us to not cut the grass to stop the erosion. How does not cutting the grass help the roots g...
view the full question and answer

Possibility of root rot in Praire flame-leaf sumac
July 08, 2004 - I bought a prairie sumac two years ago and it was fine until recently when we had a lot of rain in Austin. Now the leaves are all brown and it appears to be dying. Is there something I can do? I reall...
view the full question and answer

Failure to bloom of gulf muhly in Dripping Springs TX
April 19, 2010 - I have had several gulf muhly in my garden for about 8 years, but last fall they did not bloom, however several others only feet away did. Do you have any idea why this might have occurred?
view the full question and answer

Creating a wildflower meadow
May 18, 2013 - I have an area 1-6 acres worth that is currently grass that I would like to overseed with wildflower seed. The local native plant nursery says that would be a waste. I don't really want to kill gra...
view the full question and answer

Tropical Texas landscape from Houston
March 04, 2013 - Do you know of any public (or at least photographed) place in Texas that has been landscaped entirely with native "tropical-looking" (i.e. evergreen but NOT conifer and NOT succulent/arid) species? ...
view the full question and answer

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