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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Friday - May 15, 2009

From: Plano, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Groundcovers
Title: Groundcover for under oak in Plano, Texas
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I live in Plano Texas USA. I have a huge live oak tree in my front yard and a large Cape Myrtle as well under these trees no grass will grow so we have dirt or mud when it rains. Fact is the front yard is pretty sparse of grass which is fine with me except we need to put some kind of ground cover that needs little attention, does well during drought, looks beautiful and deals well with the acidic conditions of the soil due to the oak leaves. Oh and I hate to mow so no mowing required would be blissful. What do you suggest????

ANSWER:

With the Wasowskis' Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region as a guide, Mr. Smarty Plants chose a variety of groundcover plants that should work well in your area under your oak tree in the shade (less than 2 hours of sun per day) and/or part shade (2 to 6 hours of sun per day).  Some of them will do well in full sun as well.  No mowing required!

Asplenium platyneuron (ebony spleenwort)

Calyptocarpus vialis (straggler daisy)

Carex blanda (eastern woodland sedge)

Geum canadense (white avens)

Packera obovata (roundleaf ragwort)

Phyla nodiflora (turkey tangle fogfruit)

Pteridium aquilinum (western brackenfern)

Rivina humilis (rougeplant)

Salvia lyrata (lyreleaf sage)


Asplenium platyneuron

Calyptocarpus vialis

Calyptocarpus vialis

Carex blanda

Geum canadense

Geum canadense

Packera obovata

Packera obovata

Phyla nodiflora

Pteridium aquilinum

Rivina humilis

Salvia lyrata

 


 

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Bibliography

Atlas of the Vascular Plants of Texas (2003) Turner, B. L.; H. Nichols; G. Denny; O. Doron

Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region (2002) Wasowski, S. & A. Wasowski

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