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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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Friday - March 15, 2013

From: Georgetown, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Groundcovers, Grasses or Grass-like, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Plants to grow between patio pavers
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

We'd like to use poured concrete pavers for a deck. What grows well, whether it be grass or other, between these. We'll have 4-6" between 4 foot pavers. And would love to find something that does not require edging or high maintenance. Thank you for your help! You've single-handedly help us landscape and care for our whole property!

ANSWER:

Here are some possibilities for plants for the area between your pavers that should require little maintenance to look attractive:

Dichondra carolinensis (Carolina ponysfoot) is evergreen and will grow in sun to part shade to a height of 2 to 3 inches. Dichonchra will grow well between pavers and can withstand heat but will require some watering.  Here are more photos from the University of Texas School of Biological Sciences' Archive of Central Texas Plants.  Here is more information from University of California at Davis.

Calyptocarpus vialis (Straggler daisy) is evergreen and grows in sun, part shade and shade to about 6 inches.  Here are more photos from the University of Texas School of Biological Sciences' Archive of Central Texas Plants. Here is care information from the Native Plant Society of Texas Trinity Forks Chapter.

Phyla nodiflora (Texas frogfruit) usually grows a little taller than the two above but should do nicely between your paving stones.  It does best in sun and part shade.  It is also considered a good butterfly plant for its nectar as well as its foliage as a larval food source.  Here are more butterfly and insect photos with Phyla nodiflora.

Bouteloua dactyloides (Buffalograss) would work great if you have plenty of sun.  It doesn't grow very tall (usually 8 inches is the maximum) and can be mowed.  You could also consider Hilaria belangeri var. belangeri (Curly-mesquite), another low-growing, low-maintenance grass or you might even consider using the Wildflower Center's Habiturf™.  Water should keep the grasses green during summer heat and drought, but they won't require much water.

Carex texensis (Texas sedge) is evergreen and will grow in sun or part shade.  It grows a little taller, usually, than the grasses, but it can be mowed at a high setting at infrequent intervals.

 

 

From the Image Gallery


Carolina ponysfoot
Dichondra carolinensis

Horseherb
Calyptocarpus vialis

Texas frogfruit
Phyla nodiflora

Buffalograss
Bouteloua dactyloides

Curly-mesquite
Hilaria belangeri var. belangeri

Texas sedge
Carex texensis

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