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
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - June 14, 2007

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Groundcovers, Vines
Title: Parthenocissus quinquefolia as replacement for Asiatic jasmine
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

The deer have stripped the Asiatic jasmine groundcover under my clusters of live oak trees in Southwest Austin. This year the bare areas of ground are covered in Virginia creeper seedlings. I have been pulling them out but am wondering if the creeper could be used for a natural ground cover in place of the jasmine, as the deer do not seem to bother it. Would the creeper get too tall, or could it be trimmed to keep it low (no more than 6-8 inches tall)? I love it as a vine but have not seen it used as a ground cover.

ANSWER:

Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper) will make a nice groundcover beneath your live oak tree, but not without some maintenance. Virginia creeper always wants to climb and will seize every opportunity to do so. You will need to regularly cut back stems that begin to run up your trees, walls or over shrubs. Of course, if you wish it to climb on some structure in your garden, it will happily oblige. Other than that, Virginia creeper will stay close to the ground without any pruning. It does not pile stem upon stem and form a thick mat like Asian jasmine.

 

More Groundcovers Questions

Shady Perennial Groundcover Suggestions for Indiana
April 21, 2013 - Could you please recommend perennial groundcovers for Indiana that are low and leafy, self-spreading, non-invasive, deer resistant, and moisture tolerant; and that are good for erosion control on a sh...
view the full question and answer

Groundcover for Oregon gravel path
August 23, 2013 - I'm looking for a native ground cover to grow in the gravel between flagstones in a path in my backyard. The gravel is 1/4-10 so it is very loose. The path gets midday sun but is shaded by the house ...
view the full question and answer

Oxalis drummondii as ground cover
May 11, 2007 - We live in Austin, Texas. A sunny, dry swath of grass (originally St. Augustine) has been invaded by pink wood-sorrel (a large-leafed, mounding kind). I love the wood-sorrel, and would like to use it ...
view the full question and answer

Low-growing plants for a slope in the shade
July 08, 2013 - Hello, I'm looking for native plants to put in the shade (within the drip-line) of a well-established American Holly. The area gets deep shade; it is also on a very gentle north-exposure slope. We ...
view the full question and answer

Native groundcovers to replace non-native St. Augustine
May 24, 2007 - 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. A...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center