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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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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.

 

 

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