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
1 rating

Monday - July 12, 2010

From: Lake Charles, LA
Region: Southeast
Topic: Shade Tolerant
Title: Need mowable ground cover for shady area under trees in Lake Charles, LA.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

I live in Southwest Louisiana. I have a large portion of my back yard that is very shady because I have large trees in the yard. The area dries up fairly quickly after a heavy rain, so it isn't extremely moist. Nothing really grows there though. I really want some sort of groundcover that I can mow and that my son can walk on. I'm just tired of looking at a yard that is half grass and half dirt. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

ANSWER:

You didn't mention the kind of trees or the type of soil that you have in your yard. Both of these factors can influence the kinds of plants that will grow there.

The following is a list of plants that are considered groundcovers that can grow in shady conditions. 

Calyptocarpus vialis (straggler daisy) grows less than 1 foot high. Can be mowed

Geum canadense (white avens) grows from 4 inches to over 3 feet, but can be mowed.  It is evergreen if watered in summer.

Phyla nodiflora (turkey tangle fogfruit) grows 3 to 4 inches high and is evergreen to dormant in winter.

Salvia lyrata (lyreleaf sage) grows 4 to 18 inches or more, but can be mowed and is evergreen if watered in summer.

Packera obovata (roundleaf ragwort) grows 3 inches to 2 feet but can be mowed and is evergreen. 

Clicking on the name of the plant will bring up its NPIN page which has infromation about the plant's characteristics, growing conditions and photos.


Calyptocarpus vialis

Geum canadense

Phyla nodiflora

Salvia lyrata

Packera obovata

 



 

More Shade Tolerant Questions

Non-poisonous trees to shade horse pasture in Leesville SC
February 07, 2011 - Please list NON-poisonous trees for horses in South Carolina. I would live to plant a few trees along the fence of my horse pasture and in my horse pasture for shade.
view the full question and answer

Pros and cons of Hydrocotyl bonariensis as lawn replacement
March 22, 2008 - Want to convert lawn TO dollar weed! My Garland TX yard has become so shady over the years that I have a hard time with grass. A few years ago I noticed dollar weed in the grass which seemed to cre...
view the full question and answer

Green roof plants tolerating shade
July 01, 2006 - I am researching extensive greenroof plants for a potential site in Austin. The roof surface is shaded for most days of the the year. Are there any top choices for plants for this condition?
view the full question and answer

Native grasses to accompany buffalograss in shade
May 01, 2008 - What grass goes with buffalo for shade/partial shade?
view the full question and answer

Plants for shade, poor soil in Park Ridge NJ
June 17, 2010 - Hello! I live in far northeast New Jersey, by the New York state border. I am looking for plants for areas of my lawn that nothing currently grows in - due to shade and poor soil quality - very rocky,...
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center