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?


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

Saturday - July 27, 2013

From: Seattle, WA
Region: Northwest
Topic: Groundcovers, Shade Tolerant
Title: Growing non-vascular moss as a lawn from Seattle WA
Answered by:


I have lots of moss in my back yard. How can I encourage it to grow over the whole yard?


The thing is, Mr. Smarty Plants limits himself to answering questions on vascular plants native to North America. We have so many questions on native vascular plants, we would never even come close to keeping up if we also answered questions on non-vascular plants like mosses or non-native plants such as Banksia grossa (native to Australia).

From wacona.com, this article Plant Groups explains the differences between vascular plants (our specialty) and non-vascular plants (mosses, algae). From Moss Acres, here is information on Growing Moss. From what we can see, to grow moss as a lawn, you need damp conditions and a whole lot of shade.


More Shade Tolerant Questions

Evergreen flowering shrub for San Antonio, TX
May 20, 2013 - Need a suggestion for an evergreen flowering bush, 3 ft tall for shady area by front door. Have gardenia bushes there now - did well until we had a hard freeze and have struggled ever since. Ideas ple...
view the full question and answer

Flowers under pine trees from Elkhart Indiana
May 02, 2013 - I have a number of pine trees at the back of my lot and would like to plant flowers under the tree. What can I plant?
view the full question and answer

Plants for shady courtyard classroom garden in Weatherford, TX
March 27, 2007 - I am wanting to create an outdoor classroom area in the courtyard of my school. The courtyard is enclosed by all four sides and the building is two stories high. It does not receive much sunlight. Mos...
view the full question and answer

Shade tolerant Wildflowers for Oklahoma City
April 16, 2012 - I live in Oklahoma City. I'm not in town very often, and am seeking low maintenance plants. I have MANY trees in my backyard, which makes it quite shady. I have raised beds amongst my rock garden ...
view the full question and answer

Oak leaf hydrangeas from Edwardsville IL
August 13, 2012 - Hello, I live in West Central Illinois (across the river from St. Louis) and I am considering planting several Oak leaf Hydrangea's in my yard. The location where I would like to plant them is und...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center