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

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

Plants for a shady front border in Ohio
April 28, 2010 - My front flower bed faces the North. For the past 2 yrs. I lost 5-6 perennials. What can I plant that will make it with little sun. I don't want hostas nor ferns, nor short ground covers. I want col...
view the full question and answer

Plants for a moist, wooded area in North Carolina
December 06, 2014 - I am looking to plant some native flowers in a wooded area in Surry County NC. The chosen location is fully shaded beside a creek. The water table typically sets about 2 feet below the surface of th...
view the full question and answer

Grass for shady area
June 21, 2011 - I need to find a grass that can grow in a shady area, with some sun. Drought resistant and preferably native to the area. Would like to find a sod if possible. I know it's not a great time to plant n...
view the full question and answer

Shrub for part shade for hedge in Holly Ridge NC
April 07, 2010 - We live in Coastal NC. We would like a type of shrub for the front of our home which is partial shade, similar style to a boxwood or trainable hedge. What NC native would compare?
view the full question and answer

Grasses for shady area with sandy soil
September 23, 2008 - We have very sandy soil, is there any type of grass that will grow well. Also, very shady.
view the full question and answer

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