Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Plants for full sun and clay soil in NY
May 06, 2008 - We live in upstate new york( zone 5) with full sun and clay soil. What flowers/flowering shrubs would be successful in this environment?
view the full question and answer

Hydrilla problems in Tom Bean Lake in Mesquite, TX.
October 12, 2012 - What is the lifespan of Hydrilla in 30 acre lake at Tom Bean Tx? Does it grow spring thru summer and then hibernate thru winter ??
view the full question and answer

Seasonal tasks for Big Red Sage and Tall Aster in Marble Falls TX
January 09, 2012 - I transplanted some Big Red Sage and Tall Aster into my raised bed garden in early summer this year. They've sent up lots of rosettes. Do I need to protect them from freezing in winter? Do I need to ...
view the full question and answer

Plants for a Austin thicket underlayer
July 25, 2014 - We live in Austin, west of 183. We are planning to put a thicket in our backyard, where there is no threat of deer. Anchoring the thicket are a clump of live oaks, a Texas persimmon, an Eve's Necklac...
view the full question and answer

Plant Identification from Decatur GA
June 14, 2012 - Hi: In early May 2012 we visited the Center--fantastic. There was a large shrub/tree with yellow blooms near a silo. Is it Retama? Also there was a lot of a purple blooming plant in with the conef...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.