En EspaŅol

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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
1 rating

Monday - April 21, 2008

From: Houston, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Groundcovers, Shade Tolerant, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Native moss to fill in between flagstones
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I live in Houston and have a long, narrow flagstone path that runs along the east side of the house. I am looking for a native moss that can fill in between the flagstones and will tolerate morning sun and afternoon shade. They are selling a low growing moss at the local Lowe's, but no one can tell me if it will thrive here in Houston. Also am wondering how low maintenance moss will be once established.

ANSWER:

The requirement for thriving for most mosses is shade and moisture. However, there are a few native mosses that will grow in the sun, go dormant when dry, and revive again when moisture is available. There is no way for us to tell how the Lowe's moss will perform unless we know its botanical name. Also, unless we know its name, we can't tell you whether or not it is native. If your flagstone area is mostly shaded and remains generally moist, however, I would think the moss would at least survive, if not thrive.

We can recommend a few low-growing vascular plants (mosses are non-vascular), in lieu of the mosses, that would fill in between your flagstones and grow well in both sun and partial shade.

Phyla nodiflora (Texas frogfruit)

Dichondra carolinensis (Carolina ponysfoot)

Calyptocarpus vialis (straggler daisy)

Sedum nuttallianum (yellow stonecrop)


Phyla nodiflora

Dichondra carolinensis

Calyptocarpus vialis

Sedum nuttallianum

 

 

More Groundcovers Questions

Plants for a sunny, sandy site in Central Texas
January 22, 2015 - I live between La Grange and Schulenburg, Texas. My soil is sandy. Full sun, no trees. I am a senior citizen with limited funds who is allergic to Rye and Bermuda grass. I tried planting a lawn of...
view the full question and answer

Low maintenance, attractive ground cover for yard in Snyder, TX
February 25, 2007 - I live in West Texas, I just bought a couple of lots that have had nothing grown on them in about 45 years, except what looks like small clumps of weed /grass, not sure. I would like to have my front...
view the full question and answer

Groundcover beneath a maple
January 24, 2009 - I am looking for something to spread out in the shade of a maple tree. I have tried lily of the valley, ferns, pachysandra, ivy, hosta, euonymus.. nothing spreads out.
view the full question and answer

Dying non-native St. Augustine grass from Austin
May 02, 2013 - Although we all know St. Augustine grass is not a good thing, I am stuck with it and am trying to save areas that appear to have take-all fungus. I have done much reading online and have tried peat m...
view the full question and answer

Low-growing plants for a slope in the shade
July 08, 2013 - Hello, I'm looking for native plants to put in the shade (within the drip-line) of a well-established American Holly. The area gets deep shade; it is also on a very gentle north-exposure slope. We ...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center