En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Evergreen groundcover or ornamental grass to plant under tree

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

Friday - November 09, 2007

From: Mesquite, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Groundcovers
Title: Evergreen groundcover or ornamental grass to plant under tree
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

What can I plant under my tree as a groundcover? I would like an evergreen groundcover, how about ornamental grasses?

ANSWER:

There are a couple of native grasses, Chasmanthium latifolium (Inland sea oats) and Elymus canadensis (Canada wildrye), that would grow in the shade under your tree, but they aren't going to be evergreen. However, they do have very attractive seed heads that would persist through the winter until the new growth begins in the spring.

Depending on how deep the shade is under your tree, you could also plant Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem) or Elymus virginicus (Virginia wildrye) both of which will grow in partial shade.

Sedges are evergreen and both of these, Carex texensis (Texas sedge) and Carex cherokeensis (Cherokee sedge), grow well in the shade.

Here are a couple of other plants that will do well in the shade and will remain evergreen except in severe winters: Phyla nodiflora (Texas frogfruit) and Calyptocarpus vialis (straggler daisy).



Chasmanthium latifolium

Elymus canadensis

Schizachyrium scoparium

Elymus virginicus

Carex texensis

Carex cherokeensis

Phyla nodiflora

Calyptocarpus vialis

 

 

More Groundcovers Questions

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

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

Groundcover or grass for Panama City, Florida
April 19, 2009 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants I live in Panama City Florida and am having great difficulty growing a lawn. I would prefer no lawn as grass, it seems a pointless use of resources but my husband requires gr...
view the full question and answer

Groundcover for gravesite in Maryland
March 13, 2013 - I know this is very unusual question but here I go. I live on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and I am looking for a low ground cover for my grandparents grave. The soil is very sandy and I am looking...
view the full question and answer

Dense groundcover for full sun on the California coast.
November 08, 2011 - Can you recommend a very dense ground cover that serves as a lawn (in full sun on the coast, pref. drought resistant)? Many thanks in advance.
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center