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 - 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

Straggler daisy
Calyptocarpus vialis

Texas frogfruit
Phyla nodiflora

More Planting Questions

Pruning blue potato tree (Lycianthus rantonnei)
July 14, 2008 - I wrote earlier about a blue potato tree(Lycianthus rantonnei) the top appears dead but if you break a branch it is still green, what would happen to it if I cut all the branches forming at the bottom...
view the full question and answer

Would like fast growing evergreen trees in Austin, TX.
October 31, 2012 - Hi, We're moving to Southwest Austin and would like to plant a cluster of pines (or cypress trees?) or other fast growing, large and tall evergreen trees. Any suggestions?
view the full question and answer

Use of hand-held seed spreader from Robstown TX
March 20, 2014 - I am planting native turf grass and prairie grasses as part of a backyard restoration on my 1.6 acre home site. My problem is good seed dispersal for the chaffey grass seeds. Have you have any luck...
view the full question and answer

Safe grazing for donkeys and goats from Osteen FL
June 30, 2012 - I am having a very difficult time trying to find shrubs, hedges, plants, flowers, or trees etc. that are safe for donkeys and goats. We live in Zone 9 and have a small farm. I've had to pull every ...
view the full question and answer

Problem with Live Oaks in Mesa AZ
March 26, 2013 - I have two Evergreen Live Oaks in central Arizona. One is flourishing and getting new spring leaves from top to bottom. Its trunk is rough, has large grooves, and the spots where I've pruned look li...
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