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

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 Herbs/Forbs Questions

Growing Green milkweed vine from seed
July 29, 2015 - I was given some seed for the pearl milkweed vine which I intend to plant, but I can find no information on whether to stratify or scarify them or just plant them. I know some milkweeds require strati...
view the full question and answer

Sun loving plants for flower bed by the pool in Weatherford Texas
October 03, 2011 - We have a 40' long x 2 1/2' wide flowerbed along our pool. It is in full sun with the pool deck across the front and a 6' privacy fence across back. Also, the level of the bed is 18" below the l...
view the full question and answer

Choosing the right Coreopsis species for Tennessee
November 28, 2015 - I live in Bristol Tennessee and have replaced most of my lawn with native plants. I have been trying to learn more about the Coreopsis genus. In TN, we have C. auriculata, grandiflora, lanceolata, m...
view the full question and answer

Plants resistant to salt spray in FL
December 18, 2011 - What type of plants can I put in a small planter bed next to a waterfall with a saltwater pool? Everything I put in there dies. I live in Southwest Florida.
view the full question and answer

Perennial Suggestions for Under Ash Trees in Minnesota
June 12, 2013 - With our house we have inherited 2 ash trees in our front yard with a large amount landscaping underneath. I'm replacing the landscaping but there are tree roots at the surface preventing me from bei...
view the full question and answer

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