Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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 - February 06, 2012

From: Skipperville, AL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Xeriscapes, Groundcovers, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Need to plant something in the cracks in my patio in Skipperville, AL.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

Mr. Smarty Pants, I have a cement patio full of cracks. I would like to grow some sort of plant or plants in the cracks. I live in lower Alabama, and my patio is in full sunlight. Do you have any suggestions? Thanks,

ANSWER:

This seems like a clever solution to a problem, but I would like to know the size of the cracks (width and depth). The amount of soil available to the plants is going to influence what will grow there. Other detriments to success will be the heat generated by the patio in full sun, and foot traffic.

We often get questions about plants to grow between flagstones in patios, and I’m including a previous answer that addresses this. The plants that are listed aren’t suitable for your situation, however you might find the link to mosses interesting.

One does see plants growing in cracks in sidewalks, so this is not a far-out idea. One approach would be to let nature take its course. Seeds will blow into the cracks, and some may germinate. These will most likely be plants that  you might consider weeds. After this happens, you can nurture the ones you like, and eliminate the others. Looking around your neighborhood at cracked sidewalks can give you a preview of what to expect.

 

 

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

What is the name of the Texas Wildflower that smells like grape koolaid?
March 28, 2014 - Can you tell me the name of the Texas wildflower that smells like grape koolaid? I live in north west Texas and every spring, the low growing purple flowers line spots along the roadside. It's a joy ...
view the full question and answer

Plant for eastern facing side of house in Washington
August 26, 2008 - I was considering putting some Lily of the Nile in front of the eastern facing side of my home. Is this plant a suitable choice for planting here in Eastern Washington?
view the full question and answer

Plants native to Galveston that would survive in Austin
December 01, 2008 - What plants are native to the Galveston, Texas region? Can any of those plants survive in the Austin area?
view the full question and answer

Non-blooming toad lily in Kentucky
April 20, 2008 - I have had a toad lily for three years and it has never bloomed. What do I need to do?
view the full question and answer

Texas sage near a granite outcropping from Llano TX
June 10, 2013 - I have a large granite outcropping near my house. There are pockets that have spring flowers growing in them and is just beautiful in the spring. I want to plant other native plants in and about the g...
view the full question and answer

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