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

Friday - July 30, 2010

From: Brookville, PA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Groundcovers
Title: Low growing groundcovers for pond banks in Brookville PA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

What are some good low growing ground cover plants for pond banks? Zone 5, mostly sun, preferably something I could start from seed? Hopefully low maintenance & non-evergreen. Perennial & hardy preferred.

ANSWER:

We are going to look for some plants that can tolerate very wet soil, and will stay fairly low, native to the area around Jefferson County, PA, USDA Hardiness Zones 5a to 5b. You said "mostly sun," so we will call that "part sun," which we consider 2 to 6 hours of sun a day. Our biggest challenge was the "low" part, but we did manage to find 11 suggestions that will grow under the conditions you stated. All are perennial, most if not all are non-evergreen. Follow each plant link to the page on that plant in our Native Plant Database to learn how to propagate it, growing conditions and whether it is perennial or annual and evergreen.

We found a website for the North American Water Garden Society of South Central Pennsylvania which might have closer to home information on the maintenance of a pond, or where to find plants. You might also go to our National Suppliers Directory, type your town and state in the "Enter Search Location" and you will get a list of native plant seed companies, nurseries and consultants in your general area. You may contact them to see if they have what you want or have other suggestions.

Low growing plants for moist soil in Central Pennsylvania:

Claytonia caroliniana (Carolina springbeauty)

Dalibarda repens (robin runaway)

Fragaria vesca (woodland strawberry)

Galium triflorum (fragrant bedstraw)

Hydrocotyle umbellata (manyflower marshpennywort)

Linnaea borealis (twinflower)

Parnassia glauca (fen grass of Parnassus)

Sanguinaria canadensis (bloodroot)

Viola cucullata (marsh blue violet)

Dichondra carolinensis (Carolina ponysfoot)

Phyla nodiflora (turkey tangle fogfruit)

Images from our Native Plant Image Gallery:


Claytonia caroliniana

Dalibarda repens

Fragaria vesca

Galium triflorum

Hydrocotyle umbellata

Linnaea borealis

Scrophularia lanceolata

Sanguinaria canadensis

Viola cucullata

Dichondra carolinensis

Phyla nodiflora

 

 

 

 

 

 

More Groundcovers Questions

Groundcover for part shade in Albany NY
July 02, 2014 - Hello! I'm looking for: a native ground cover, mostly shade with only some morning sun, on a slope, edible is preferred but not necessity, mostly clay type soil for the Albany, NY area. Thanks for yo...
view the full question and answer

Bare feet-friendly native groundcovers for New York
April 14, 2005 - We own land at elevation 1600', near Sherburn, NY. We want to walk barefoot around the tipi area, but don't want to plant grass (mowing grass). What native ground cover would be kind to bare feet ...
view the full question and answer

Ecosysystem with pecan at center from Austin
February 21, 2014 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I would like to create a native tree guild around a mature pecan. It shares its space with native shrubs and ephemerals but I would like to add a nitrogen fixing plant. I am...
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

Competition between Horseherb and Chickweed
July 04, 2014 - Ok, sorry I did it wrong the 1st time!? I live in Houston, and I have chickens! I also have mass amounts of Horseherb, and I want to buy some chickweed seeds and plant it for my chickens! My question ...
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