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

Sunday - October 17, 2010

From: Willis, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Groundcovers
Title: Groundcover for area under oaks in Lake Conroe, Texas
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I live just off Lake Conroe, and my backyard is more dirt than grass. It is under a number of oak trees, and the dirt is more of a silt than a sand. I need suggestions for a quick growing ground cover, that will handle being walked on.

ANSWER:

Here are several suggestions for groundcovers for Montgomery County:

Calyptocarpus vialis (Straggler daisy) would be a good choice.  It will tolerate moderate foot traffic, will probably stay evergreen through the winter in Montgomery County, and it grows in shade, part shade and sun.

Phyla nodiflora (Texas frogfruit) is another groundcover that grows in shade, part shade and sun, tolerates moderate foot traffic.  Depending on winter temperatures, it will stay evergreen or become dormant.

Mitchella repens (Partridgeberry) would probably work well in areas that gets no foot traffic.  You might be able to use it with the straggler daisy and/or the Texas frogfruit.

A sedge lawn is also a possibility.  One of the sedges,  Carex texensis (Texas sedge), mentioned in the article Sedge Lawns for Every Landscape, would work for your area.  It is evergreen and grows in sun and part shade.  It should withstand moderate foot traffic.


Calyptocarpus vialis


Calyptocarpus vialis


Phyla nodiflora


Phyla nodiflora


Mitchella repens


Mitchella repens


Carex texensis

 

 

 

More Groundcovers Questions

Narrow strip of groundcover from Sonora TX
April 29, 2013 - I have an area that is right under my patio about 12 feet by 1 ft. I'm looking for something to plant in there. It has afternoon sun, morning shade. I live in SW Texas so it is hot. but would like so...
view the full question and answer

Santa Fe orchard groundcovers
September 05, 2008 - Howdy We were wondering what kind of ground cover you would suggest to use in a sunny area that has a few new apple trees [7' high]. The area is about 80' x 100 '. The soil is clay & was used to ...
view the full question and answer

Ground cover for burned acreage in Bastrop, Texas
October 31, 2011 - The fire took 2/3 of the trees on my half acre in Bastrop County. It was mostly wild. What do I plant for ground cover? Do I plant native grass seed in fall? I want to keep it native as possible. ...
view the full question and answer

Groundcovers & Shrubs for Shade in North Carolina
April 30, 2013 - Mr Smarty Pants, My neighbor planted cypress trees as a border between his yard and ours and it is sucking up every drop of water and nutrient. We also have a purple plum in the area which creates ...
view the full question and answer

Natural groundcovers beneath live oaks in Austin
July 14, 2008 - We are moving to a home in NW Austin set in a forest of live oaks (15 of them). What plants are the natural groundcovers? We want to replace the 'grass' completely. There is no sun so we don't b...
view the full question and answer

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