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

Grass installation with plugs from Austin
February 05, 2013 - As much as I would love to use the seed mixture you suggest for Austin, I am not physically able to do the needed prep and was unable last year to get a professional. No one would even call me back wh...
view the full question and answer

Groundcover for a wet hillside in the San Juan Islands
July 30, 2014 - I live on Orcas Island in WA state. We have a place on the water and want to plant something that is no taller than 2-3 feet, lower if possible, on a hillside. The hillside gets lots of sun, yet als...
view the full question and answer

Deer-resistant groundcovers for erosion control
September 26, 2012 - I need a ground cover (vine??) that will help me with erosion on a sloped front yard. It gets about 6-8 hours of sun and my main need is for something that the rats in our neighborhood will not destro...
view the full question and answer

Plants for a mixed border in Houston
February 22, 2010 - I live in Houston and have a flowerbed I'd like to fill with plants that will look good year-round. The back is already lined with 6-foot shrubs so nothing like that. I'd like something with colorf...
view the full question and answer

Low maintenance ground cover for pool area in Corona CA
March 28, 2009 - Hi, I have this slope in my backyard that goes up to the neighbors yard. I'm looking for a low maintenance ground cover type plant that will stop erosion and won't cause a mess for my pool which is...
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