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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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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

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