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
8 ratings

Monday - May 28, 2012

From: Atlanta, GA
Region: Southeast
Topic: Erosion Control, Groundcovers, Shade Tolerant, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Ground cover for shade from Atlanta GA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I am looking for recommendations for a ground cover. I live in the Atlanta, Georgia area and have a large shady slope on which I would like to use low maintenance/water native ground cover. What would you suggest?

ANSWER:

With both shade and a slope to deal with, we are going to look for low-growing plants, all native to Fulton Co., GA. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to the growth, propagation and protection of plants native not only to North America but also to the areas where they are being grown. The reason for this is that plants that have become accustomed to soils, climate, rainfall and available sunlight for centuries will be more likely to survive with less maintenance, water and fertilizer, thus conserving resources and cutting down on maintenance.

To do this we will go to our Native Plant Database. Using the Combination Search, we will select on Georgia,  Habit - herbs (herbaceous blooming plants), part shade (2 to 6 hours of sun a day) and shade (2 hours or less of sun) under Light Requirements, and 0-1 ft. under anticipated mature height. You can refine this search by using more specific times for sunlight availability, heights, soil moisture,etc. Follow each plant link to our webpage on that plant to learn its growing conditions, bloom time, etc. At the bottom of each of those webpages, under Additional Sources, there is a link to the USDA webpage on that plant. We will look at that to determine which plants are native to Fulton County, before we put them on your list.

Low Herbaceous Blooming Plants for Slope in Atlanta GA:

Antennaria plantaginifolia (Plantain-leaf pussytoes)     USDA map

Chamaecrista fasciculata (Partridge pea)    USDA map

Chrysogonum virginianum var. australe (Southern green and gold)      USDA map

Fragaria virginiana (Virginia strawberry)       USDA map

Hexastylis arifolia (Littlebrownjug)       USDA map

Houstonia caerulea (Azure bluet)        USDA map

 

From the Image Gallery


Plantain-leaf pussytoes
Antennaria plantaginifolia

Partridge pea
Chamaecrista fasciculata

Southern green and gold
Chrysogonum virginianum var. australe

Virginia strawberry
Fragaria virginiana

Little brown jug
Hexastylis arifolia

Azure bluet
Houstonia caerulea

More Shade Tolerant Questions

Native grasses for shady yard in Austin
September 04, 2011 - I was looking at your research on native grasses to be used in a yard. I want to plant your native mix of seeds, but worry that there is too much shade in my yard. I live in central Austin and wante...
view the full question and answer

Plants for narrow planter boxes in San Antonio
October 02, 2010 - We have a narrow flower planter box in three sections above a french drain in front of our house. The box is about 2 feet high (filled with Gardenville soil) above a french drain covered with filter ...
view the full question and answer

Growing mosses in the Pacific Northwest
February 05, 2015 - Can you provide information on types of Mosses as well as Microferns in the Northwest Mountain region near Seattle? I assume that Mosses and Microferns are more resilient to foot traffic (i.e.Cush...
view the full question and answer

Tree as shade alternative to carport in Austin
April 21, 2010 - Hello, I'm looking for a small tree that could provide afternoon shade for two cars, as an alternative to a carport. When mature, the tree would need to be tall enough to grow around (and above) the...
view the full question and answer

Plants for shady courtyard classroom garden in Weatherford, TX
March 27, 2007 - I am wanting to create an outdoor classroom area in the courtyard of my school. The courtyard is enclosed by all four sides and the building is two stories high. It does not receive much sunlight. Mos...
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