En Español

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

Tuesday - October 05, 2010

From: LaRue, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Groundcovers
Title: Ground cover for East Texas
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Thank you for your response to (Hamelia), it was very helpful. I recently moved to East Texas and I live in a rural area at altitude 754ft with a sloping landscape with good drainage. My property is mostly wooded but I also have a good deal of sun. I am interested in a native ground cover that is drought tolerant and one that will not get out of control. I have no way to ‘border’ the ground cover so it must grow enough to cover but not take over. Any suggestions?

ANSWER:

Here are some candidates for ground covers that are native to Henderson County or adjacent counties.  There is a mix of shade and sun plants.

Geum canadense (White avens) grows in shade and part shade and is evergreen if watered in the summer.  The Wasowskis in Native Texas Plants:  Landscaping Region by Region say that this plant can be mowed to 4 inches.

Mitchella repens (Partridgeberry) is evergreen and grows in shade and part shade to less than four inches.

Oenothera speciosa (Pink evening primrose) grows in sun and part shade and is almost evergreen, but it may go dormant in summer.

Phyla nodiflora (Texas frogfruit) is almost evergreen but can go dormant in winter.  It grows in sun, part shade and shade.

Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern) is evergreen and grows in the shade to one or two feet.

Salvia lyrata (Lyreleaf sage) is evergreen and grows in sun, part shade and shade to one to two feet, but can be mowed to four inches.

Packera obovata (Golden groundsel) is evergreen and grows in shade and part shade.  It grows to two feet but can be mowed to 3 inches.

Glandularia bipinnatifida (Purple prairie verbena) is evergreen and grows to 10 inches in sun, part shade, and shade.


Geum canadense


Mitchella repens


Oenothera speciosa


Phyla nodiflora


Polystichum acrostichoides


Salvia lyrata


Packera obovata


Glandularia bipinnatifida

 

 

 

 

More Groundcovers Questions

Need suggestions for groundcover in between flagstones in patio in Sugarland, TX.
July 05, 2011 - We are looking for a ground cover to plant in between our flagstone on our courtyard patio. The courtyard is full sun and we currently have a crushed rock-like substance in between the pieces. I thou...
view the full question and answer

Low Ground Cover for Steep, Shaded PA Site
February 17, 2014 - I am located in Downingtown, PA, right on the border between Zone 6 and 7. Please provide a recommendation of a native ground cover for the following conditions: steep slope (greater than 45%), full s...
view the full question and answer

Low Groundcover for Washington State
February 03, 2015 - I'm trying to find a perfect fit for my piece of land in the State of Washington. I would say that the area is partly sunny and a somewhat moist area. I'm looking for a species of very small everg...
view the full question and answer

Groundcover for Poconos in Pennsylvania
March 09, 2009 - Hi Mr. Smarty Plants, I am having a problem growing grass. I live in the Pocono mtns of Pa. my soil is not typical for this area. I have very sandy soil, probably poor quality. grass will not grow. I...
view the full question and answer

Dog wallowing in damp area in garden from Great Bend KS
March 20, 2013 - I Have a wet area in my back yard that is close to my house. and off my patio there is a water hydrant,gas meter, electrical for my hot tub, my sprinkler valves and pump all there. My dog digs throug...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center