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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.

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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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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!

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Wednesday - July 23, 2008

From: Lindale, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Cacti and Succulents, Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Is Sedum recommended for a greenroof project in Houston
Answered by: Nan Hampton and Mark Simmons

QUESTION:

Would you recommend using Sedum for a green roof project in Houston, Texas? Will the humidity effect the sedum? If sedum would be a poor choice, what would you recommend for Houston?

ANSWER:

No. Most sedums tend to come from dry temperate climates and from shallow or very well drained soil. In wet subtropical areas they can suffer from rot and can be out competed by weeds during wetter times of the year.

We tend to favor locally native plants that can tolerate a wide range of climate and soil conditions (i.e. those which have "generalists" traits)—most of the common and widespread prairie grasses and forbs would fall into this category. Selecting your species from this palette would increase your chance of success—you just have to decide what you want your roof to do (hold storm water) or how you want it to look (spring wildflowers). Please visit our Native Green Roofs page for more information about green roofs and a native species list that we are currently testing.

 

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