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
Not Yet Rated

Sunday - June 07, 2009

From: Oakton, VA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Groundcovers
Title: Plants to put between stepping stones in Virginia
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

We are a public school in Northern Virginia and are looking for native plants that could be planted between heavily used stepping stones and could withstand some foot traffic (mostly in a sunny spot, but would love to know good plants for different light conditions for other areas of the school as well, from very sunny to deep shade).

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants suggests that you go to our Recommended Species page and select Virginia from the map or pull-down menu.  This will give you a list of more than 120 native plants that are commercially available for landscaping in Virginia.  You can use the NARROW YOUR SEARCH OPTION to limit the list to a particular type of plant; for instance, under General Appearance you might select 'Herb' or 'Shrub' and then select the appropriate choice under Light Requirement and/or Soil Moisture.  This would give you many choices for the different light conditions in the other areas of your school.  For the areas between stepping stones, here are a few recommendations.  If you can keep traffic to a minimum until the plants are well-established, they will have a better chance of withstanding regular traffic.

Phyla nodiflora (turkey tangle frogfruit)

Dichondra carolinensis (Carolina ponysfoot)

Sedum glaucophyllum (cliff stonecrop)

Sedum ternatum (woodland stonecrop)

Portulaca oleracea (little hogweed)

Portulaca halimoides (silkcotton purslane)

Bouteloua dactyloides (buffalograss) grows very well in the sun and requires little watering once established.  Since it grows only as high as 12 inches, it would perhaps need mowing only once or twice a season. 


Phyla nodiflora

Dichondra carolinensis

Sedum glaucophyllum

Sedum ternatum

Portulaca oleracea

Portulaca halimoides

Bouteloua dactyloides

 

 

More Groundcovers Questions

Low-growing plant for grave in boggy Newfoundland
May 30, 2008 - I am looking for any suggestions on what type of plant I can plant on a grave. It is very boggy (peat)land. I want something that is hardy & not too tall. We have about 8 weeks of summer, July & Augus...
view the full question and answer

Replacing St. Augustine with Horse herb in Austin, TX.
December 12, 2012 - I'm considering replacing my St. Augustine grass with a Horseherb/Straggler Daisy ground cover, but I've heard that it provides a mosquito breeding habitat, especially if you allow dead leaves to de...
view the full question and answer

Native groundcover for central California
September 02, 2009 - In Modesto, CA. Hot summers, cold winters. Need a low ground cover for area next to driveway approx. 5ft X 14ft. that stays green all year round. I did have grass there but neigbors lawn is loaded wit...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen ground cover for San Antonio
August 03, 2011 - Is there a short, evergreen, drought tolerant ground cover which will tolerate light traffic that can be used instead of grass? San Antonio, Texas
view the full question and answer

Horseherb for ground cover in Dallas
September 19, 2009 - When considering horseherb as a ground cover for a large area; are there disadvantages to sowing seed versus planting established plants? If not, what time of year is best to sow horseherb?
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center