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

Saturday - March 21, 2009

From: Harvard , MA
Region: Northeast
Topic: Groundcovers
Title: Ground cover for Massachusetts
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, We are trying to kill poison ivy in shaded areas bordering our driveway and want to plant something quickly to replace it. There are many tall trees in this area, mainly pine and oak, and the soil is not very good. What do you recommend? (Saw an answer for CA but the plants did not seem Northeast suitable!) We would like an attractive ground cover, flowering if possible. Thank you!

ANSWER:

Here are some Massachusetts natives that make nice ground covers:

Antennaria plantaginifolia (woman's tobacco)

Asarum canadense (Canadian wildginger)

Cornus canadensis (bunchberry dogwood)

Gaultheria procumbens (eastern teaberry)

Geum canadense (white avens)

Hydrastis canadensis (goldenseal)

Lycopodium digitatum (fan clubmoss)

Mitchella repens (partridgeberry)

Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)

Viola pedata (birdfoot violet)

Viola sororia (common blue violet)

Check the "Growing Conditions" for each one to determine which would do the best in your site.


Antennaria plantaginifolia

Asarum canadense

Cornus canadensis

Gaultheria procumbens

Geum canadense

Hydrastis canadensis

Lycopodium digitatum

Mitchella repens

Polystichum acrostichoides

Viola pedata

Viola sororia

 

 

 

More Groundcovers Questions

Non-vascular moss between flagstones in Mechanicsburg PA
July 11, 2009 - We would like to plant moss between our flagstone. However, the moss will have full sun all day. Can you recommend a moss for Central Pennsylvania near Harrisburg?
view the full question and answer

Groundcover for drainage ditch in Bastrop
October 02, 2008 - A friend in Bastrop has a drainage ditch in front where she'd like to use a groundcover. Normally it's very dry, but when it rains, can have 1-2" of water. Gets mostly sun. I was wondering about ...
view the full question and answer

Ground cover under live oaks
June 18, 2012 - I have some areas under Live Oak trees (maybe 200 sq. ft.)that remain bare, in spite of trying Habiturf. Soil is dry, poor and shallow. Can you suggest a living ground cover that would not require m...
view the full question and answer

Groundcover for Lighthouse Point FL
April 13, 2012 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants: I am looking for mowable ground cover for part of my back yard. Due to a Mahogany tree, a hammock, surrounding foliage and a fence, there is alot of shade in the area, alon...
view the full question and answer

Natural groundcovers beneath live oaks in Austin
July 14, 2008 - We are moving to a home in NW Austin set in a forest of live oaks (15 of them). What plants are the natural groundcovers? We want to replace the 'grass' completely. There is no sun so we don't b...
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