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
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 Vines Questions

Opinion of 5 best native garden plants in Oklahoma from Burneyville OK
September 07, 2013 - What would you say are the 3 to 5 BEST native garden plants for south central Oklahoma?
view the full question and answer

Climbing Vine for Illinois That is Non-Toxic to Dogs
May 31, 2013 - I am looking for a climbing vine hardy in Illinois (zone 5) that it non-toxic to dogs. Can you help?
view the full question and answer

Evergreen vine for San Diego, California
July 11, 2010 - I am looking for an evergreen (San Diego) vine to grow on a newly constructed trellis. Its 12' tall by 8' wide and is on the North side of the house. That area seems to only get sun June and July ...
view the full question and answer

Care for large trumpet vine in Hugo MN
June 09, 2010 - I was recently given a large Trumpet vine that has been growing in the same place for the last 25 years.I have replanted it and given it a large trellis to grow on.I live in central Minnesota. My ques...
view the full question and answer

Poison ivy? vine in NJ
July 30, 2012 - I have a vine growing among some vegetation in my backyard. It has a leaf with 3 "points" with ridges along its edges. The smaller leaves are reddish which is why I thought poison ivy but definite...
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