Explore Plants

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
    
 

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

Low-growing plants for a slope in the shade
July 08, 2013 - Hello, I'm looking for native plants to put in the shade (within the drip-line) of a well-established American Holly. The area gets deep shade; it is also on a very gentle north-exposure slope. We ...
view the full question and answer

Groundcover for sunny yard in New Jersey
July 23, 2008 - Hi. I'm looking for ground cover for a mostly sunny section of my yard. The ground we are looking to cover is next to a slight hill with in a few feet of an in ground pool. I would like something tha...
view the full question and answer

Groundcovers for hillside in Northern California
November 19, 2012 - I have read numerous posts on here, but I have not found my exact situation. I live in Northern California. I am looking for some type of ground cover to grow on a hillside. Directly above the hillsid...
view the full question and answer

Parthenocissus quinquefolia as replacement for Asiatic jasmine
June 14, 2007 - The deer have stripped the Asiatic jasmine groundcover under my clusters of live oak trees in Southwest Austin. This year the bare areas of ground are covered in Virginia creeper seedlings. I have b...
view the full question and answer

Flowering Deer Resistant Ground Cover for Dry Rocky Soil: Alabama
March 26, 2012 - My question has been partially answered in the FAQ but I live in Birmingham where the soil is clay and rocky so it's a little different. I want to plant on a rocky slope (small rocks like the size of...
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.