En Español

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
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

Ground cover for south-facing yard in Paris, TX
June 09, 2008 - We are moving to Paris, Tx. Our front yard faces south with 2 large sycamores shading it. Grass has a hard time growing here. I'd like to plant groundcover. Think it's sandy loam. Do you have a...
view the full question and answer

Growing mosses in the Pacific Northwest
February 05, 2015 - Can you provide information on types of Mosses as well as Microferns in the Northwest Mountain region near Seattle? I assume that Mosses and Microferns are more resilient to foot traffic (i.e.Cush...
view the full question and answer

Removal of bramble under live oaks and replacing with groundcover
September 26, 2007 - We have several large live oaks on the front of our 12 acre property in Hockley, Texas. Under and around each oak is an extensive amount of bramble which we would like to remove so that we can enjoy ...
view the full question and answer

Ground Cover for Austin
March 18, 2011 - What are some ground cover or low growing shrubs that will do well in afternoon sun only in the 78750 zip code?
view the full question and answer

Fast Growing Ground Cover for Sun in San Antonio
April 02, 2012 - What is the fastest growing ground cover for San Antonio Texas (predominantly sunny)?
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 | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center