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
Not Yet Rated

Monday - February 06, 2012

From: Vista, CA
Region: California
Topic: Drought Tolerant, Groundcovers, Grasses or Grass-like, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Need plants to grow between flagstones in Vista, CA.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

Hi, I have put in a flagstone patio set in DG. The DG is creating a very sandy messy surface on the flagstone, so want to plant a low ground cover between the joints. Its a fairly large area, in sun and shade. Any suggestions for a low maintenance, drought tolerant ground cover that can handle foot traffic. It is a patio used for entertaining. Thank you

ANSWER:

I'm guessing that DG = Decomposed Granite (I ruled out disgruntled gravel).

One approach is to go to our Native Plant Database and scroll down to the Combination Search Box. Select California under State, Herb under Habit, and Perennial  under Duration. Check Sun under Light requirement, Dry under Soil moisture, and 0-1ft under Height. Click the Submit Combination Search Button and you will get a list of 28 native species that meet these criteria. Clicking  on the scientific name of each species will bring up its NPIN page that has a description of the plant along with growth requirements and images. Repeat  the search and substitute Grass/grass-like for herb, and you will get a list of 5 grasses that might be used.  These aren’t all suitable for growing between flagstones, but there are some that you might

Herbs
Antennaria parvifolia (Small-leaf pussytoes)

Eriogonum douglasii (Douglas' buckwheat)  

Phyla nodiflora (Texas frogfruit) 

Grasses

Dasyochloa pulchella (Fluff grass) 

Erioneuron pilosum (Hairy woollygrass)  

Scleropogon brevifolius (Burrograss)

If the DG is level with the tops of the stones, you may want to dig out some of it and replace it with soil to enhance the plant growth.

 

From the Image Gallery


Small-leaf pussytoes
Antennaria parvifolia

Douglas' buckwheat
Eriogonum douglasii

Texas frogfruit
Phyla nodiflora

Fluff grass
Dasyochloa pulchella

Hairy woollygrass
Erioneuron pilosum

Burrograss
Scleropogon brevifolius

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Competition between Horseherb and Chickweed
July 04, 2014 - Ok, sorry I did it wrong the 1st time!? I live in Houston, and I have chickens! I also have mass amounts of Horseherb, and I want to buy some chickweed seeds and plant it for my chickens! My question ...
view the full question and answer

Red beebalm in Austin, TX.
July 04, 2013 - Dear Mr.Smarty Plants - I purchased a bee balm plant from my favorite Austin nursery - Natural Gardner, and so was accessing your site for growing suggestions. My bee balm is red, and I didn't see a...
view the full question and answer

Ground cover under live oaks
June 18, 2012 - I have some areas under Live Oak trees (maybe 200 sq. ft.)that remain bare, in spite of trying Habiturf. Soil is dry, poor and shallow. Can you suggest a living ground cover that would not require m...
view the full question and answer

Wide appearance of Texas Bluebells in Hillsboro TX
July 07, 2011 - I thought Texas Bluebells were rare, endangered and liked wet places. So why, after at least a dozen years of not seeing any and during this horrible drought am I seeing them where I have never seen t...
view the full question and answer

Failure to come up of blackeyed susans in Lancaster PA
June 28, 2009 - My blackeyed susans have been blooming for ten years. All of a sudden this year they didn't come up at all..why?
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center