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

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

Ground cover for cleared property in Austin
February 23, 2010 - I live in a small apartment building near 183 & 620. The land beyond the lawn has trees and has been cleared of brush. They are planning to seed the ground. I thought invasive native ground covers wo...
view the full question and answer

Ground cover for Thornton CO
June 04, 2012 - I want to order ground cover because I don't want to mess with grass any more. I live in Colorado, north of Denver. The soil has a lot of clay. I tried clover and that did not do well. My yard is par...
view the full question and answer

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

Fast Growing Groundcovers for Long Island
March 18, 2016 - Can you please suggest a few fast growing groundcovers suitable for the south shore of Long Island? The area is fairly sunny and dry.
view the full question and answer

Replacing St. Augustine with Horse herb in Austin, TX.
December 12, 2012 - I'm considering replacing my St. Augustine grass with a Horseherb/Straggler Daisy ground cover, but I've heard that it provides a mosquito breeding habitat, especially if you allow dead leaves to de...
view the full question and answer

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