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

Tuesday - April 27, 2010

From: Columbia, MD
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Shade Tolerant
Title: Ground cover for shady area in Maryland
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

What ground cover grows well on a shady slope with close to surface tree roots?

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants assumes you would like something that is evergreen.  Here are five evergreen plants that make very nice ground covers:

Gaultheria procumbens (eastern teaberry)

Mitchella repens (partridgeberry)

Packera aurea (golden ragwort)

Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)

Dryopteris marginalis (marginal woodfern)

Here are two other plants that aren't evergreen that also make excellent ground covers:

Pachysandra procumbens (Allegheny-spurge) is semi-evergreen

Tiarella cordifolia (heartleaf foamflower)

You can search in our Maryland Recommended Species list for other possibilities.

You micht also be interested in a Maryland Native Plant Society publication Native Plants for Central Maryland Landscapes—Piedmont and Inner Coastal Plains.

Here are photos of the above plants from our Image Gallery:


Gaultheria procumbens

Mitchella repens

Packera aurea

Polystichum acrostichoides

Dryopteris marginalis

Pachysandra procumbens

Tiarella cordifolia

 

 

 

 

More Shade Tolerant Questions

Native violets under maples from Gettysburg PA
July 06, 2012 - Just for your info (no need to post or reply), I saw an old post of a question of something to grow under maples. In central PA, native violets grow very well under several species of maples in lawns...
view the full question and answer

Lantana failing to bloom from Tampa FL
October 04, 2012 - I reside in central Florida. I have planted several lantana the orange,red,yellow type. I don't have proper species name. They have been in the ground 3 weeks with 2" of potting soil around root ba...
view the full question and answer

Landscaping north facing wall
November 08, 2010 - We live in the Dallas area and have a north facing home with a large, bare wall. I would like to plant a tall, flowering shrub that will look nice all year round. Or are there flowering vines that a...
view the full question and answer

Need Shade Trees for Entry in Poway, California
January 14, 2011 - Hi - Our front door gets a lot of afternoon sun, so we'd like to plant a couple of shade trees near the entry way. Unfortunately we don't have much room between our entry path and the driveway, so...
view the full question and answer

Erosion control for a North Carolina creek side
February 29, 2012 - Hello Mr. Smarty Plants! I noticed a question on your website recommending NC native grasses and plants to help prevent erosion on a sloping backyard, including the use of an erosion blanket. The pl...
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
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center