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
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 Transplants Questions

Transplanting Seedling Texas Mountain Laurels
April 15, 2013 - I have two mountain laurels that I grew from seed. They are in pots, but the roots have grown through the bottom and into my flower bed. The trees are about 6 feet tall. They have already bloomed. So ...
view the full question and answer

Should I transplant my bluebonnets from the planter they came into soil in Austin?
April 10, 2009 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, Since moving to Austin two years ago I have fallen in love with bluebonnets. Last year I purchased seedlings from the Wildflower Center but a taste-first-evaluate-later inquis...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting native azaleas in South Carolina
June 09, 2005 - When is the best time to transplant azaleas in South Carolina Low Country?
view the full question and answer

Problem with Arizona Ash in Leander TX
March 10, 2011 - What would make my otherwise healthy Arizona Ash tree, that was doing so well last year, only bud out on just one side?
view the full question and answer

Drought tolerant Plants and moving Wax myrtles in Austin
April 30, 2011 - Mr. Smarty Plants, What are the most fire resistant and drought tolerant plants for caliche soil in Austin area? I am considering relocating or removing my wax myrtle shrubs because they are ...
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