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
Not Yet Rated

Monday - February 06, 2012

From: Skipperville, AL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Xeriscapes, Groundcovers, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Need to plant something in the cracks in my patio in Skipperville, AL.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

Mr. Smarty Pants, I have a cement patio full of cracks. I would like to grow some sort of plant or plants in the cracks. I live in lower Alabama, and my patio is in full sunlight. Do you have any suggestions? Thanks,

ANSWER:

This seems like a clever solution to a problem, but I would like to know the size of the cracks (width and depth). The amount of soil available to the plants is going to influence what will grow there. Other detriments to success will be the heat generated by the patio in full sun, and foot traffic.

We often get questions about plants to grow between flagstones in patios, and I’m including a previous answer that addresses this. The plants that are listed aren’t suitable for your situation, however you might find the link to mosses interesting.

One does see plants growing in cracks in sidewalks, so this is not a far-out idea. One approach would be to let nature take its course. Seeds will blow into the cracks, and some may germinate. These will most likely be plants that  you might consider weeds. After this happens, you can nurture the ones you like, and eliminate the others. Looking around your neighborhood at cracked sidewalks can give you a preview of what to expect.

 

 

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Different colors of Argemone spp. from McAllen TX
March 16, 2014 - I took pictures of at least 5 colors of pricklepoppy today. Is this common to have so many colors in one area? How do I harvest the seedpods and when is the best time to do so?
view the full question and answer

Yellowing leaves
May 06, 2008 - What causes yellowing of native garden plant leaves?
view the full question and answer

Need suggestions for material to build a raised bed garden
February 13, 2015 - I am starting a raised bed garden but cannot find untreated railroad ties or landscape timbers. Does anyone have a source in the Austin or Dripping Springs area? I have tried McCoys, Home Depot, Natur...
view the full question and answer

Non-native daylilies for steep hill in Manassas VA
April 25, 2013 - Would like to plant steep hill w perennial flowering plants like daylily. The daylily farm said this would work great but not sure if we should lay landscaping fabric and poke through holes to plant ...
view the full question and answer

Die-off of Texas bluebells
June 04, 2008 - I live in southeast Travis County east of IH35 in the Blackland Prairie. We have a gorgeous stand of Texas bluebells. Last year, the bluebells would look fine, then they would turn brown and die for...
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 | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center