En Español

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

Ground cover for a sunny location
April 20, 2011 - Looking for Native ground cover for sunny slope in LaRue TX I would like something that will cover year-round and flower in Spring/Summer/Fall. If it has a berry in the fall for birds and attracts bu...
view the full question and answer

Ground covers for play area in Plano, TX
April 14, 2007 - Is there a ground cover that would work under and around a swing in our front yard in Plano, Texas. It would get morning sun and dappled shade from a trimmed live oak in the afternoon. It would need t...
view the full question and answer

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

Groundcover Suggestion for OK
April 24, 2015 - I need your suggestion for a groundcover for a flower bed in the sun and in the shade in Oklahoma.
view the full question and answer

Starting over on a lawn in Heath TX
April 02, 2013 - Unless one counts dichondra as grass I have more weeds than grass in my yard.I have hand pulled the weeds and used an organic program without success. The soil is a hard clay typical of North Texas. 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

E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center