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

Wednesday - April 12, 2006

From: Stanfordville, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Groundcovers
Title: Ground covers for sandy hill in New York
Answered by: Dean Garrett

QUESTION:

We have just built a new home and a sandy fill was needed around the house. It sits on a hill and the fill is very sandy. We would like to plant something to stabilize the bank that is native to the area and easy to maintain. It is a southern exposure and is very well drained. Can you suggest some type of ground covers?

ANSWER:

If your sand completely lacks organic matter, you might want to consider adding compost to it before planting. Our Regional Factpack for the Northeast lists several plants as groundcovers but says little about their tolerance for sand. A brief perusal of field guides suggests that the following groundcovering plants native to New York might tolerate sand, though again adding organic matter will help insure success:

Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia)
Christmas Fern (Polystichum acrostichoides)
Northern Bayberry (Morella pennsylvanica)

Most of the information I'm finding about native northeastern plants adapted to sand focuses on beach plants that colonize moving sand dunes, probably not your situation. Your local native plant society or Wild Ones chapter might contain people who have experience with residential sand landscaping in New York. Also check our National Suppliers Directory to find local sources for purchasing natives.
 

More Groundcovers Questions

Plants for a steep bank in Virginia
June 23, 2009 - I have a small yard with a 3 foot steep bank that I want to plant on. I am looking for fast growing ground cover. There is some shade but not a lot and has a southern exposure. Ground is a bit roug...
view the full question and answer

Finding a source of Straggler daisy
October 14, 2015 - I've decided on Straggler daisy but am having trouble finding it. It would be perfect for me. Do I have to wait until next Spring for it to show up? Can it be ordered through a nursery or a landscape...
view the full question and answer

Groundcover for Southern California clay slope
April 02, 2012 - I have a 30 ft. high by 96 ft. long slope with clay soil slope that I want to plant a low height ground cover. Any recommendations on what ground cover possibilities to use.
view the full question and answer

Native, low maintenance lawn for Rowley MA
September 11, 2013 - I am in Northeastern (coastal) Massachusetts and I am looking to replace my (currently high maintenance, water intensive, invasive species) lawn with a native, low maintenance species (or mix). Many o...
view the full question and answer

Identification of groundcover plant in north Georgia mountains
September 16, 2011 - Was trail riding in N GA mountains - saw pretty ground cover plant ? vine - small green leaves with whitish borders almost look like clover leaves and has small bright red red berries - this was Aug 2...
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