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

Sunday - June 17, 2012

From: Midlothian , TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Meadow Gardens, Groundcovers, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Drought tolerant ground cover for Midlothian, TX
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

I'm looking for a fast, low ground cover. That is drought tolerant for a large slope.

ANSWER:

You didn’t mention how large a “large slope” is so we’ll start big and scale down from there. We have three articles on our “How To” page that deal with large scale plantings of native plants. This might be more than you had in mind, but there is some good information that you may find useful.

The first article, Recreating a Prairie gives the ends and outs of prairie restoration that is going on around the state.

The second article, Meadow Gardening describes the procedures for establishing a wildflower meadow in an open, sunny, well-drained area.

The third article, Getting Started gives tips for organizing such daunting undertakings.

For help with plant selection, go to our Native Plant Database, and use the Combination Search option. Select Texas under State, grass/grass-like under General Appearance, and perennial under Lifespan. Check  sun under Light Requirement, dry under Soil Moisture, and 0-1” under Height. Click the Submit Combination Search button and you get 14 species that meet these criteria. Repeat the search, and check 1-3’ under Height and your list increases to 24. Clicking on the scientific name of each species will bring up its NPIN page that contains the characteristics of the plant, its growth requirements and, in most cases, photos. As you go through the list, look for  plants that match your growing conditions.

Repeat the search one more time, and select herb under General Appearance and 0-1’ under Height, leaving your other choices the same. Click the Submit combination Search button and you will get a list of 46 species of flowering plants that can add some color to your slope.

Native American Seed has a number of different seed mixes that can be used in the situation you describe. You can find other seed sources by consulting our National Suppliers Directory.

Another place where you can get help is the Ellis County office of Texas AgriLife Extension.

 

More Groundcovers Questions

Sunny and shady lawns from Austin
April 28, 2012 - My front yard has a large bed surrounded by a mix of St. Augustine and Bermuda grass. Last summers heat killed off about 90% of the St. Augustine, which we would like to replace anyway to conserve re...
view the full question and answer

Deer Resistant Groundcover for lower Michigan
June 24, 2012 - What ground cover is deer resistant for a sunny location in lower Michigan?
view the full question and answer

Alternative to grass as groundcover in area used by dog
January 05, 2007 - I am looking for a beautiful groundcover to use instead of grass which need to be soft and animal friendly. My dog is in the yard a lot and she's 10 yrs old. I am looking for a groundcover which wi...
view the full question and answer

Native lawn replacement for shady areas in Austin
September 11, 2013 - Our front lawn was totally destroyed this summer during some remodeling construction. I am interested in replacing it with native grasses, but we have several oak trees that keep the area fairly shady...
view the full question and answer

Groundcover called Jumping Jacks
August 19, 2009 - My neighbor has a beautiful ground cover and she doesn't know the name and I have searched the nurseries and internet and can not find it. She says it spreads like crazy and when she was young they c...
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center