Rent Shop 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
1 rating

Saturday - August 04, 2012

From: Spring Hill, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Muhly grass slow to green up from Spring Hill FL
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Have lots of muhly grass planted 3 yrs ago. This yr about 1/3 are VERY slow. Still look like hay stacks. No pattern in the bed. You mentioned pesticides being too close?

ANSWER:

There is exactly one member of the Muhlenbergia genus native to Florida, Muhlenbergia capillaris (Gulf muhly) and, as you can see from this USDA Plant Profile Map, it is also native to Hernando County, so if that is the grass you have, at least you are growing it in the right place.

As you have been growing this grass for 3 years, you must already be familiar with its growing habits. Since it is a grass, a pesticide that damaged it would have to be either a full-spectrum herbicide or formulated for monocots, or grasses. Without knowing the history of the plant's growth, we really have no way of knowing if wayward puffs of a monocot spray may have reached it. If you have suspicions that is the case, about all you can do is trim the grass down in cooler weather, as you ordinarily do, and hope fresh stalks come up from the roots in the Spring.

However, considering the kind of weather the whole country is having - flooding, drought, heat - we think it more likely this is an environmental problem. If you follow the plant link above to our webpage on this grass, you will learn that it has high water needs, likes full sun and a moist soil. 

From Floridata (which we thought was appropriate) here is more information.

 

From the Image Gallery


Gulf muhly
Muhlenbergia capillaris

Gulf muhly
Muhlenbergia capillaris

Gulf muhly
Muhlenbergia capillaris

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Native grasses for South Texas Coast
April 02, 2010 - Grasses S. Texas Coast. Hello! I love all of the information available in your database Mr. Smarty Plants database (as well as the rest of the site) and find it quite useful on many fronts. My...
view the full question and answer

Flowering Deer Resistant Ground Cover for Dry Rocky Soil: Alabama
March 26, 2012 - My question has been partially answered in the FAQ but I live in Birmingham where the soil is clay and rocky so it's a little different. I want to plant on a rocky slope (small rocks like the size of...
view the full question and answer

Stopping erosion on bank of a Florida retention pond
July 21, 2015 - I live on a retention pond, which has had all vegetation killed by the lake doctor. As a result the bank has eroded so there is a drop off directly to the water rather than a sloping bank. What plan...
view the full question and answer

New low maintenance grass similar to Turffalo
October 27, 2009 - While touring the Wildlife Center, our group was told about about a new low maintenance grass similar to Turffalo. It only grows several inches tall, drought resistant and crowds out other grasses an...
view the full question and answer

Grass lawn from Durham NC
October 08, 2013 - Durham, NC. Want to plant a small front grass lawn, full sun, dry. Willing to mow. Not good about watering. Advice?
view the full question and answer

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