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 - November 19, 2012

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Planting, Groundcovers, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Want a ground cover instead of St. Augustine to fill in gaps in stone pathway.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

I'm considering using Silver Ponyfoot (instead of St. Augustine) to fill in the 6" gaps between my 24"x24" cut limestone blocks footpath and patio. Do they run long that may cover the blocks, which require me to trim (edge) around each block all the time? Thanks,

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants concurs your intent avoid using St. Augustine to fill the gaps between your limestone blocks. To me Silver Pony foot Dichondra argentea (Silver ponyfoot)is a good choice, but as you read in the links below, it can produce runners up to 4’ in a year. This may be more trimming than you want to do, but its better that mowing St. Augustine.

missouribotanicalgarden.org

smgrowers.com

Another possibility is a ground cover called Horse Herb Calyptocarpus vialis (Straggler daisy). From the links below, you can see that it has its proponents and detractors. It is fast growing and is considered invasive by some.

greatstems.com

gardenweb.com

A third possibility is a native perennial ground cover called Frog Fruit Phyla nodiflora (Texas frogfruit).

regionalconservation.org

Any plant that is growing in the gaps is going to require some maintenance. You will have to choose the best looking, low maintenance plant you can find.

 

From the Image Gallery


Silver ponyfoot
Dichondra argentea

Horseherb
Calyptocarpus vialis

Texas frogfruit
Phyla nodiflora

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Native Plants for a Steep Slope in TN
July 15, 2014 - Hello, I live in Knoxville, TN and have a very steep slope in our backyard. There is a lot of water erosion causing our grass to be covered with red dirt. I would love to try to plant something on thi...
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

Erosion control in West Union IA
June 22, 2010 - Erosion control and native grasses/plants for steep, shady slope in northeast Iowa. We are building a house in northeast Iowa (near West Union in Fayette County). The road that was graded to the ho...
view the full question and answer

Plants for the north side of the house in Norborne MO
September 30, 2009 - What perennials, plants, flowers, are best suited for north side of house?
view the full question and answer

Use of non-native pothos for outside wall from Las Vegas NV
January 05, 2014 - I am in Las Vegas, NV. I live in a cottage-style apartment so I have a north facing porch with no one on the west so I get some there (and have an inherited cactus probably a yard all round) I would ...
view the full question and answer

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