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

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

Groundcover for part shade/shade in Oklahoma.
September 14, 2009 - I am looking for perennial ground covers for shade to part shade under red oaks in central Oklahoma. Soil condition is usually dry. Can you recommend some natives in addition to creeper for xeriscape?...
view the full question and answer

Vine for shaded area in Austin
February 15, 2009 - Hi! I live in South Austin, and love my backyard. It is enclosed by chain-link fencing, and shrouded by (ack!) Hackberry trees. I would like to plant a vine on one fence to provide a privacy screen. T...
view the full question and answer

Replacing mature Arizona Ash trees in Austin
August 26, 2011 - Mr. Smarty Plants, I have 2 very large, very old Arizona Ash trees in my yard. I want to remove them and replace them with something like Cedar Elm or Chinquapin Oak. The problem is that they are t...
view the full question and answer

Plants for a mixed border in Houston
February 22, 2010 - I live in Houston and have a flowerbed I'd like to fill with plants that will look good year-round. The back is already lined with 6-foot shrubs so nothing like that. I'd like something with colorf...
view the full question and answer

Fast growing shade trees safe for livestock in pasture in Nashville GA
May 13, 2010 - I would like a list of fast growing shade trees that are safe for cows and horses in a pasture.
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