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 29, 2011

From: Atlanta, GA
Region: Southeast
Topic: Groundcovers
Title: Non-invasive sun ground cover for Atlanta GA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I would like to find a non-invasive ground cover for zone 7 (Atlanta, GA) in full sun. I had a bed of ivy with daylilies on a slight slope. I have pulled up the ivy but want something that is not as invasive that will also accommodate the daylilies.

ANSWER:

We are glad you pulled up the English ivy. See this Plant Conservation Alliance Alien Plant Working Group on Hedera helix, English ivy. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is committed to the growth, propagation and protection of plants native not only to North America but to the areas in which those plants grow naturally. We don't like invasives either, so getting rid of a plant that is both invasive and non-native scores points.

We will go to our Native Plant Database, and under Combination Search, select on Georgia, "herb" (herbaceous blooming plant) under Habit, "sun" under Light Requirements and Height of 0-1 ft. You did not say if you wanted perennial plants, but we are asssuming you do, and check "perennial" under Duration. You could use the same search method to find shrubs, trees, ferns, succulents, and grasses for your purposes. This search got us a total of 32 plants, so we will go through and pick some as examples. You can follow each plant link to see what the growing conditions, moisture requirements and general appearance are on that plant, and make your own selections if you prefer.

Ground Covers for Atlanta GA:

Acmella oppositifolia var. repens (Oppositeleaf spotflower)

Anemone caroliniana (Carolina anemone)

Calyptocarpus vialis (Straggler daisy)

Chrysopsis mariana (Maryland goldenaster)

Coreopsis auriculata (Lobed tickseed)

Dicentra cucullaria (Dutchman's breeches)

Indigofera miniata (Coastal indigo)

Phyla nodiflora (Texas frogfruit)

 

From the Image Gallery


Oppositeleaf spotflower
Acmella oppositifolia var. repens

Carolina anemone
Anemone caroliniana

Horseherb
Calyptocarpus vialis

Maryland goldenaster
Chrysopsis mariana

Lobed tickseed
Coreopsis auriculata

Dutchman's breeches
Dicentra cucullaria

Scarlet pea
Indigofera miniata

Texas frogfruit
Phyla nodiflora

More Groundcovers Questions

Competition between Horseherb and Chickweed
July 04, 2014 - Ok, sorry I did it wrong the 1st time!? I live in Houston, and I have chickens! I also have mass amounts of Horseherb, and I want to buy some chickweed seeds and plant it for my chickens! My question ...
view the full question and answer

Ground cover for Central California from Concord CA
July 19, 2012 - I live in a part of California where the summers can be very hot and dry but quite cool and wet during the rainy seasons in the wintertime. The soil around my home is very dry, rocky and infertile. I...
view the full question and answer

Native ground cover for Fort Lauderdale, FL.
November 02, 2010 - I just moved into a duplex with a narrow back yard with dark sandy soil and no irrigation system. I travel and am looking for a hardy ground cover that can take heat, drought and limited sun between 1...
view the full question and answer

Lawn for a Shady & Wet area in Austin, TX
July 22, 2015 - We have a drainage area that has appeared in our back yard since the neighbors’ homes were built. When we get heavy rains (like this year) all their drainage flows into our back yard and forms a river...
view the full question and answer

Kinnikinnick for a green roof
July 04, 2012 - Hi Mr. Smarty Plants, I live just north of Seattle and want to build a green roof (outdoor kitchen) I'm concerned about the weight of the soil (saturated), drainage etc. am building from scratch and...
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