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

Tuesday - July 01, 2008

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shade Tolerant
Title: Native grasses for bare shady spot in Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

My back yard is shady from old Arizona Ash trees. What native grasses can I plant in bare areas caused by my dog?

ANSWER:

The first thing we need to ask you is: Will the dog still be causing bare areas? We can recommend a number of really nice native grasses that will do well in the shade, and are low maintenance, but few of them are very tolerant of foot, er, paw traffic. So, we're going to give you two lists-one of the grasses, and one of lower, somewhat more traffic-tolerant, ground covers. Anything newly planted is going to need a chance to get established, so if the dog is still going to be working the same path, don't waste your time and money putting in new plants. You might consider, instead, paths of mulch, pine needles or even decomposed granite. It will still get scattered, but can be raked back into place.

GRASSES

Bouteloua curtipendula (sideoats grama) - 2 to 3 ft. tall

Bouteloua dactyloides (buffalograss) - 3 to 12 in. tall

Bouteloua hirsuta (hairy grama) - 10 to 18 in. tall

Chasmanthium latifolium (Inland sea oats) - 2 to 4 ft. tall

GROUND COVERS

Dichondra argentea (silver ponysfoot) - 3 to 4 in. tall

Calyptocarpus vialis (straggler daisy) - 6 go 12 in. tall

Callirhoe involucrata (purple poppymallow) - 8 to 12 in. tall

Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper) - high climbing or trailing vine


Bouteloua curtipendula

Bouteloua dactyloides

Bouteloua hirsuta

Chasmanthium latifolium

Dichondra argentea

Calyptocarpus vialis

Callirhoe involucrata

Parthenocissus quinquefolia

 

 

 

 

More Shade Tolerant Questions

Ornamental grasses under desert willows from Dallas, TX
September 06, 2013 - I am planning on planting 3 desert willows in full sun, below the power lines at the back of my back yard in the White Rock Lake area of Dallas. I would like to plant some ornamental grasses in the be...
view the full question and answer

Deer resistant privacy fence for shade in Hill Country
April 28, 2009 - I am looking for a shrub to plant along a privacy fence that gets 8+ feet tall, fast growing, preferably native, deer resistant, and can tolerate mostly shade. I reside in the Hill Country area. Tha...
view the full question and answer

Deer Resistant Plants for Dry Shade in Manor, Texas
January 14, 2011 - What deer resistant blooming plants will do well under a huge oak tree?
view the full question and answer

Low plants for shady, damp area in Roanoke, TX
November 13, 2008 - First, thanks for answering my first question about Texas Native Trees for our new home! I have just started working on plans for our back yard and have a question about Texas Native Shade plants. W...
view the full question and answer

Balancing bloom in beds in Kents Store VA
May 26, 2010 - Our beds along a walkway in rural Central VA have replanted themselves - oenethera speciosa and dwarf yarrow have abandoned the north bed and are flourishing in the south bed. Sedums, lavender and can...
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