Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - July 11, 2012

From: amherst, MA
Region: Northeast
Topic: Drought Tolerant, Groundcovers, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Drought-resistant ground cover for Massachusetts
Answered by: Guy Thompson

QUESTION:

Mr Smarty Plants I am looking for drought resistant,low maintenance ground cover for a LEED certified project in Florence MA. Any suggestions?

ANSWER:

My best suggestions would be Vaccinium angustifolium (Late lowbush blueberry) and Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (Kinnikinnick).  Both of these species are slow-growing and require moisture while getting established.  Another possibility is Viola pedata (Birdfoot violet).  For an extra bit of color here and there, consider trying Waldsteinia fragarioides (Appalachian barren strawberry).

   Late lowbush blueberry is available here and Kinnininnick from a west coast nursery.  The violet and strawberry can be purchased at this nursery.  Other more local nurseries may also have these plants.

 

 

From the Image Gallery


Late lowbush blueberry
Vaccinium angustifolium

Kinnikinnick
Arctostaphylos uva-ursi

Birdfoot violet
Viola pedata

Appalachian barren strawberry
Waldsteinia fragarioides

More Drought Tolerant Questions

Difficulty of watering at drip line of trees from The Woodlands TX
August 18, 2011 - I'm watering my couple dozen native mature trees to make sure they survive this drought and its aftermath..and I'm reading about how to water at the drip line. But..all of my trees' drip lines ext...
view the full question and answer

Pollinators for Palm Springs, CA
June 18, 2015 - Just moved to Palm Springs, California. Hot and dry, desert region. What bee and pollinator-friendly plants would do well with full afternoon sun?
view the full question and answer

Drought tolerant plants for IN
August 23, 2011 - What are some plants that would do well in an east facing area near my front door? I live in Indianapolis IN. I need something that is drought resistant and will fill in a 4x3 foot walled off area th...
view the full question and answer

Groundcover for Shade in Spicewood
September 16, 2015 - We live in Spicewood area in Austin, TX. Our front yard is yellow almost all summer, I was thinking of replacing lawn with a ground cover which can live on once a week sprinkler and no mowing. Also th...
view the full question and answer

Drought resistant small tree for Ft. Worth TX
May 22, 2013 - I am looking for suggestions for a small tree (no more than 25 feet max)that is drought resistant but can handle a little irrigation and a lot of wind. Something showy is a plus. Grouped with salvias ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.