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 Herbs/Forbs Questions

Looking for a supplier of Commelina erecta.
May 29, 2009 - I'm looking for a nursery that sells Commelina erecta?
view the full question and answer

Shade tolerant Wildflowers for Oklahoma City
April 16, 2012 - I live in Oklahoma City. I'm not in town very often, and am seeking low maintenance plants. I have MANY trees in my backyard, which makes it quite shady. I have raised beds amongst my rock garden ...
view the full question and answer

Is Cerinthe major toxic to cats in Gresham, OR
March 14, 2013 - Hi, I was wondering about whether a specific plant was poisonous or not specifically to cats.. I've done a lot of searching and can't find anything on whether or not this plant is considered toxi...
view the full question and answer

Groundcover for Shady Front Beds in OK
July 15, 2014 - I need a groundcover for my front beds in Edmond, OK that are moist and in full shade. The groundcover would primarily be around and under a Japanese maple. Low maintenance is preferred.
view the full question and answer

Salvia that needs dividing in Maryville MO
April 09, 2010 - I have some May Night salvia that is 3 years old. Last summer it split in the middle and spent a lot of the summer laid open. I'm wondering if it needs to be split or pruned in some way?
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