Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

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

 


 

More Groundcovers Questions

Straggler Daisy as a Groundcover in Salado, TX
October 30, 2015 - I've identified Straggler Daisy or Horseherb as the plant to cover my 20 x 40 partly shady partly sunny lot. Could you provide me with the best method for starting and growing the plant to ensure it ...
view the full question and answer

Groundcover for Road Frontage in NC
March 12, 2015 - I need a fast growing ground cover or perennial flower for 1,000 feet of road frontage about one acre that will choke out weeds. I do not want to do much ground prep or any ground prep. I do not want...
view the full question and answer

Late Blooming Wildflowers for Round Rock
August 06, 2014 - I thought this would be a previously answered question but found nothing in the data base. My question is: in Central Texas what can be grown for some color or interest in a wildflower area when the w...
view the full question and answer

Ground cover for sun in Phenix City, AL
April 04, 2011 - I live in Phenix City, AL and am new to planting. I have a 60 x 15 feet slope that is just dirt. I am going to till it next week and want to plant some various ground cover plants (that will grow to c...
view the full question and answer

Groundcover for Poconos in Pennsylvania
March 09, 2009 - Hi Mr. Smarty Plants, I am having a problem growing grass. I live in the Pocono mtns of Pa. my soil is not typical for this area. I have very sandy soil, probably poor quality. grass will not grow. I...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

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

Search More Titles in Bibliography