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Frequently Asked Questions

Using earth-wise practices can save you time, energy, and money while helping to protect our precious water resources – our streams, lakes, and aquifers.

 

Click here to subscribe online to be notified by mail about gardening classes or call 512-974-2550 and ask to be put on the emailing list for gardening classes. You will receive notification when a homeowner class is scheduled. We usually offer classes a couple of times a year. Please also check the Grow Green home page occasionally. We post classes from multiple City departments and the Travis County Master Gardeners - but will not be sending out announcements for those classes individually.

The Native and Adapted Plant Guides were developed for City of Austin residents. Due to its popularity it is made available for purchase to entities outside of our area.

Anyone:
Access it online in a Downloadable or Searchable database format

Citizens of Austin and Travis County:
It is available for free to Austin and Travis County residents.

  • Option One: Pick up a copy at a Grow Green distribution location
    Plant guides are distributed free of charge at participating Austin-area Grow Green partner retail & wholesale nurseries, home improvement centers, non-profits and City of Austin locations. Click here for a map of distribution locations. You may want to call to make sure they have them in stock.
  • Option Two: Pick up copies at our office
    Austin and Travis County residents may order up to two boxes of 40 plant guides to pick up for free at our office. After entering your information you will receive a confirmation email.  The office location is 505 Barton Springs Road, 11th Floor, Austin, TX 78704.

Outside of Travis County – north to Killeen and to the south of San Antonio:
The priority for the distribution of Native & Adapted Plant Guides, paid for by Austin citizens, are Grow Green nurseries and program partners. As a courtesy, we sell them to businesses and entities outside of Austin, but we reserve the right to limit the sale, when the inventory is low or an anticipated high demand period is expected.

We only sell the Plant Guides by the box of 40.

  • Option One: Pick up a box (or two) of 40 copies at our office in Austin. There is a $1 per guide/$40 per box charge
  • Option Two: Have a box (or two) of 40 copies mailed to you. The charge is $2 per guide/$80 per box

Please Note : The plant guides cannot be sold for profit or as a fund-raiser. If they are resold it has to be for the price that was paid for the guide. (If you pay $1/guide you can only resell them for $1). Entities that violate this policy will not be allowed to purchase the guides in the future.

Link to Order Native and Adapted Plant Guides

Order Native & Adaptive Plant Guide Online

 

The program is a partnership between the City of Austin and the Texas AgriLife Extension Service. All materials are designed by the City using the technical expertise of the Texas AgriLife Extension Services and city staff. The City manages the program and the AgriLife Extension Service assists with distribution of materials in Ausin and parts of Travis County.

As of September 12, 2014, the priority for the distribution of Native & Adapted Plant Guides, paid for by Austin citizens, are Grow Green nurseries and program partners. As a courtesy, we sell them to businesses and entities outside of Austin, but we reserve the right to limit the sale, when the inventory is low or an anticipated high demand period is expected. When sales are allowed, the maximum number of boxes will be 2 per organization

Formalized on October 14, 2013

The City of Austin Grow Green program partners with Austin nursery businesses to provide the public with information about earthwise landscaping and management of common landscape pests. The information is intended to help protect water resources by reducing the amount of pesticides that enter our waterways.

The materials are provided and distributed free to Austin-area businesses that sell plants, pesticides or both. They are provided at the point-of-sale to educate people about plant selection and integrated pest management alternatives, with emphasis on the least toxic, most effective solution. Materials are also all available electronically at www.growgreen.org.

Program Materials:

  • Grow Green Native and Adapted Landscape Plant guide – The plant guide highlights native and adapted plants that do well in Central Texas’ environment.
  • Grow Green Fact Sheet series/display - The Grow Green fact sheet series provides least toxic options for the most common Austin-area landscape pests and other general landscaping information topics.
  • Landscape Design templates – Design templates for landscape designs such as Child Friendly, Classic, and Shade Friendly.
  • T-shirts – are provided annually to staff at partnering nurseries

Business Category:

  • Plants only: If a business only sells plants they can receive the Grow Green Native and Adapted Landscape Plant guide and have the option to display the Grow Green Fact Sheets and Landscape Design Templates.
  • Plants & Pesticides: If a business sells plants and pesticides they are required to carry both the Grow Green Native and Adapted Landscape Plant guide and the Fact Sheets. They have the option to distribute the Landscape Design Templates.
  • Plants and only Least-toxic pesticides - if a business only carries products with the least toxic designation (i.e. the lady bug icon featured on the Fact Sheets), they may opt out of carrying the fact sheets. Qualifying businesses that select this option must send the Grow Green Program Coordinator a list of the pesticide products carried at the beginning of the agreement and provide a current list of the pesticides they sell each October. If any pesticides that do not have the least toxic icon are sold then the business will begin to display the Fact Sheets or forfeit receiving any of the Grow Green program materials.

Store Responsibilities

  • Identify a Grow Green Single Point of Contact (SPOC)
    • The SPOC will:
      • let the Grow Green program coordinator know at least one week in advance which program materials need restocking. This information can be emailed or left on a voicemail message at denise.delaney@austintexas.gov or 512-974-2581.
      • keep the display organized and clean.
      • report any damage to the display.
      • contact the Grow Green program coordinator to remove any program materials or displays from the store if participation in the program is no longer desired.
  • Stock less-toxic integrated pest management products
  • Allow Grow Green training of employees
  • Provide feedback on the program

Grow Green Coordinator Responsibilities

  • Provide & set up displays
  • Provide program materials for restocking displays
  • Coordinate trainings
  • Follow-up with stores as needed to answer questions
  • Provide map of Grow Green partners on the website www.growgreen.org

Native plants are acclimated to local climate conditions and soils, provide habitat for wildlife, typically require less water and maintenance once established, and do not rely on chemical fertilizers and pesticides to thrive. These homegrown plants also give us a sense of place and help maintain the region's wide variety of flora and fauna. Not only do they provide all of these wonderful benefits, but they are beautiful, too!

 

  • Austin Resource Recovery
  • Austin Energy: Green Building
  • Austin Water Utility: Water Conservation and Wildlands
  • Parks and Recreation Department: Urban Forestry, Wildlife Austin, Zilker Botanical Garden
  • Development Services Department
  • Watershed Protection Department:  Grow Green

Participating partners:

  • Grow Green Nurseries
  • Travis County AgriLife Extension Service
  • Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
  • Native Plant Society of Texas

The Native Plant Society of Texas promotes research, conservation and utilization of native plants and plant habitats of Texas throughout the state and includes Texas Native Plant Week events on their website.

Grow Green offers 23 fact sheets that help you identify and solve pest and disease problems and provide general landscaping design, installation and maintenance recommendations. It offers a Native and Adapted Plant Guide that recommends 200 plants that not only survive, but thrive in Central Texas. It also provides workshops and technical information to nursery sales associates so that they can better serve their customers. All materials are offered FREE to Austin citizens and the garden centers.

October 16-22, 2017

Nearly every nursery and some home improvement stores throughout Austin have 23 Grow Green fact sheets and the very popular Native and Adapted Landscape Plant Guide. The information is also available online at www.growgreen.org.

Click here for a map of locations where you can find Grow Green information.

Grow Green and xeriscaping have very similar principles. Xeriscaping is landscaping whose main goal is to conserve water (Water Wise Austin). The seven principles of Xeriscape include: Planning and Design, Soil Analysis, Plant Selection, Practical Turf Areas, Efficient Irrigation, Use of Mulches, and Maintenance. Grow Green goes beyond Xeriscaping in emphasizing the use of least toxic products in the landscape. Minimizing chemical input in the landscape protects our living areas and our water ways.