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
37 ratings

Thursday - May 24, 2007

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Groundcovers
Title: Native groundcovers to replace non-native St. Augustine
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

I live in west Travis County just south of Lake Austin. My backyard is very shady and does not drain well. I want to spend some time and effort landscaping it. I have thought about Amerishade St. Augustine grass in some areas. Do you have suggestions for plants or ground cover in the areas that are mostly shady? I would be particularly interested in anything that would work well near the St Augustine.

ANSWER:

Because St. Augustine grass required much more irrigation than other grasses, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center does not recommend its use at all. While it is more shade-tolerant than many other grasses, there are native groundcovers that may work better for you in the long run and require much less water. Shade-loving native groundcovers you might consider are: Straggler daisy (Calyptocarpus vialis), Texas sedge (Carex texensis), and Cedar sedge (Carex planostachys). Some other shade-loving native plants are Inland Sea Oats (Chasmanthium latifolium), Red Columbine, (Aquilegia canadensis), Cedar sage (Salvia roemeriana), and Heart-leaf Skullcap (Scutellaria ovata).
 

More Groundcovers Questions

Grasses for Erosion control in Iowa
September 27, 2012 - We have a sloping yard in the midwest that gets 2-4 hours of sun during the warm weather. When we have large rainfalls, the water just pours down the slope causing a lot of erosion to the surrounding ...
view the full question and answer

Destruction of Straggler Daisy in Austin
December 18, 2011 - I hate Straggler Daisy. Not to be offensive, but it appears from other posts on this site that you, Mr. Smarty Plants, and many others would like to treat it as a protected species. It is taking over ...
view the full question and answer

Getting rid of non-native, invasive English Ivy from Davidsonville MD
March 19, 2014 - Just moved and need to rid the well established Ivy planted on the steep slope area around the back and side of the house as it is taking over the bushes on the top and trees in forested area at botto...
view the full question and answer

Recovering neglected garden space from Grapevine TX
March 22, 2014 - I live in Grapevine TX (Dallas). I just moved into a house where almost the entire large backyard is covered by oak trees that shed tons of leaves throughout our mild falls/winters. The yard has not...
view the full question and answer

Silver ponyfoot becoming invasive in College Station TX
May 08, 2013 - How can I control or get rid of an established Dichondra groundcover? I bought a few plants of D. argentea from your sale a few years ago, and in that time they've done really well in the area I plan...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center