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 - June 15, 2011

From: Cape Coral, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Shade Tolerant
Title: Shaded Groundcover for Florida
Answered by: Brigid & Larry Larson

QUESTION:

Looking for ground cover for shade. Area is between two houses. Something with minimal amount of work and care.

ANSWER:

Sure!  Natives are the way to go when you are looking for minimal work & care; after all they had to survive on their own in your area for a long time.  What we like to do for this type of question is to recommend that you be sure to review the pages that the Native Plant Society of Florida puts out.  They get so detailed that they actually have a list of Recommended Plants for Lee County.  I took that list and compared it to those that thrive in shade or partial shade in our NPIN list of recommended plants for Central Florida, and there were three groundcovers that both agreed upon - - looks like some pretty good choices.

 They are Ipomoea pes-caprae (Railroad vine)Phyla nodiflora (Texas frogfruit) and Sisyrinchium angustifolium (Narrowleaf blue-eyed grass).

If you wish to stretch slightly beyond just groundcover – check out the rest of those lists.  There are also two appropriate previous Mr Smarty Plants discussions from your general area.  One from North Port discussing groundcovers but without the shade requirement and another from Tampa which was more concerned about whether the plants were deer resistant.

 

From the Image Gallery


Railroad vine
Ipomoea pes-caprae

Texas frogfruit
Phyla nodiflora

Narrowleaf blue-eyed grass
Sisyrinchium angustifolium

More Shade Tolerant Questions

Erosion Control in Bartlesville OK
May 10, 2012 - What kind of plants can we use to stop erosion and loss of bank on a creek that is mostly shaded? Is there any free advice/plants for people that are losing land due to water levels rising/dropping?
view the full question and answer

Native Evergreen for Shady Back Yard in IL
April 16, 2015 - I am looking for a native evergreen to provide bird shelter in my southeast facing small back yard. I would prefer a horizontal juniper but don't know if it could grow in the shade of the 8 or 9 matu...
view the full question and answer

Wildlife Attracting Plants for a Shady Patio
July 03, 2014 - We have a concrete patio that receives 2-3 hours of sunlight a day, so the only plants we will be able to grow will be in container. We are looking for plants that do well in shade, and containers and...
view the full question and answer

Plants for steep slope in shade in Iowa
July 02, 2010 - I work for a small non-profit shelter here in Dubuque, Ia. that has a very steep slope behind the building that needs some sort of plant or grass planted to stop erosion. The slope gets little to no s...
view the full question and answer

Philadelphus ernestii under live oak in Pflugerville TX
April 05, 2010 - Will Philadelphus ernestii thrive in the root zone of live oak, or would the oak inhibit its growth? I'd like to plant it just at the edge of the canopy.
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