En Español

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
3 ratings

Saturday - September 19, 2009

From: Dallas, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Transplants, Groundcovers
Title: Horseherb for ground cover in Dallas
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

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?

ANSWER:

According to our Native Plant Database, Calyptocarpus vialis (straggler daisy), also known as horseherb, is easy to propagate from fresh seed sown without treatment as well as being easy to divide and relocate. It is sometimes regarded as a weed, and you may have neighbors who would be delighted to have you pull it out of their flowerbeds and take it away. It is only beginning to be regarded as a good groundcover, sometimes available from nurseries, but we don't think seed is commercially available. Our personal preference in your case would be transplanting by root division. This time of year would be good, no intense heat and it will be quite a while, if ever, before it gets very cold in the Dallas area. 

Horseherb is semi-evergreen, remaining green and blooming year-round in temperate climates. It can go dormant in cold winters. It ordinarily blooms yellow March to November, has low water use, and can do well in sun, part shade or shade. If you have it in the shade of large deciduous trees, you should be careful not to let it get smothered in fallen leaves. Rake them out and put them in your compost pile, and you will be rewarded by green foliage and little daisy-like blooms. 

If you can't find a supply of transplants in the neighborhood, go to our Native Plant Suppliers section, type your town and state in the "Enter Search Location" and you will get a list of native plant nurseries, seed companies and landscape contractors in your general area. They have contact information and you can get in touch with them looking for seed or bedding plants. 

In terms of disadvantages of sowing seed vs. root propagation, the only one we can think of is that you will have plants in place right away with transplants, but will have to wait until the seed sprouts; meanwhile, other plants that you don't want may be sprouting, too. If you can obtain seed, late Fall is probably the best time. If you are planting on a slope, you might lose a lot of seed in Fall rains, in which case the transplants would still be the best alternative. 

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:


Calyptocarpus vialis

Calyptocarpus vialis

Calyptocarpus vialis

Calyptocarpus vialis

 

 

More Groundcovers Questions

Wildflowers for high canal bank in Florida
May 27, 2009 - My home is on a canal to a natural lake in Central Florida (Orlando area). I am wondering if there is a wildflower that I can grow on a 3' high canal bank that is mostly shady.
view the full question and answer

How to combat weeds growing in mulch
September 12, 2008 - Trying to decide on either ground cover plants, or some type of gravel. We have a new house where the builder has planted small shrubs in the full sun flower bed next to house. The bed has mulch at th...
view the full question and answer

Groundcover for vineyard from Round Rock, TX
February 04, 2013 - I will be planting a vineyard in the Hill Country next spring. I am looking to maintain low-growing understory plants across the entire vineyard to maintain soil health, choosing plants that the leaf...
view the full question and answer

Groundcover for Southern California clay slope
April 02, 2012 - I have a 30 ft. high by 96 ft. long slope with clay soil slope that I want to plant a low height ground cover. Any recommendations on what ground cover possibilities to use.
view the full question and answer

Shade Tolerant Grasses and Groundcovers for Waco TX
March 15, 2013 - What is the best shade-tolerant grass? What is the best shade-tolerant ground cover?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center