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

Monday - May 25, 2009

From: Union, MO
Region: Midwest
Topic: Groundcovers
Title: Groundcover for wet area in Missouri
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hello, I live in Missouri and our neighborhood is built over a natural spring. Half of my yard remains wet/moist for weeks to months and we can't mow it. I'm looking for a ground cover and plants that will be able to survive, take over the grass that is there, and be attractive. The area is mostly shaded with some areas without trees. I'd something low maintenance. Thanks!

ANSWER:

This sounds like a great place for ferns.  Here are some possibilities:

FERNS

Athyrium filix-femina (common ladyfern)

Osmunda cinnamomea (cinnamon fern)

Osmunda regalis (royal fern)

Woodwardia areolata (netted chainfern)

You can add some other plants to the fern mix in the form of:

PERENNIAL HERBACEOUS PLANTS

Asclepias incarnata (swamp milkweed)

Caltha palustris (yellow marsh marigold)

Impatiens capensis (jewelweed)

Iris brevicaulis (zigzag iris)

Lobelia cardinalis (cardinalflower)

Lobelia siphilitica (great blue lobelia)

Monarda didyma (scarlet beebalm)

Vernonia fasciculata (prairie ironweed)


Athyrium filix-femina

Osmunda cinnamomea

Osmunda regalis

Woodwardia areolata

Asclepias incarnata

Caltha palustris

Impatiens capensis

Iris brevicaulis

Lobelia cardinalis

Lobelia siphilitica

Monarda didyma

Vernonia fasciculata

 

 

 

More Groundcovers Questions

Removing St. Augustine for natives in Grapevine TX
September 29, 2012 - We have St Augustine in our yard and we hate it. It guzzles water, we have to cut it often, and it's thick and hard to work with. Anyway, we want to replace it with a combination of some kind of g...
view the full question and answer

Oxalis drummondii as ground cover
May 11, 2007 - We live in Austin, Texas. A sunny, dry swath of grass (originally St. Augustine) has been invaded by pink wood-sorrel (a large-leafed, mounding kind). I love the wood-sorrel, and would like to use it ...
view the full question and answer

Groundcover for Shady Front Beds in OK
July 15, 2014 - I need a groundcover for my front beds in Edmond, OK that are moist and in full shade. The groundcover would primarily be around and under a Japanese maple. Low maintenance is preferred.
view the full question and answer

Need evergreen hedge and groundcover for shade in Carmel, Indiana
September 27, 2010 - Our property is bounded by a fencerow that is wooded and mostly shaded by mulberry and hackberry trees during the growing months. We'd like to create a 5'+ tall evergreen barrier on the property li...
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center