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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Sunday - August 05, 2012

From: Laguna Hills, CA
Region: California
Topic: Plant Lists, Groundcovers
Title: Ground cover for Orange County, California
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

What ground cover do you suggest for an Orange Co., CA, backyard with a steep slope in 3-4 hours of sun? Needs to grow fast to beat the weeds. Something pretty would be nice! Thanks

ANSWER:

Las Pilitas Nursery with stores in Escondido and Santa Margarita has lists of groundcovers that should do well in your backyard with a steep slope.  They have lists divided into those that grow less than 1 foot high, those 1 to 2 feet high and those taller than 2 feet.  Here are a few that grow 1 foot or less high:

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (Kinnikinnick) is shrub that grows well in sun, part shade and shade.  Las Pilitas lists several varieties that have particular features that you might like:

Ceanothus hearstiorum (Hearst ranch buckbrush) grows no higher than 2 to 3 inches and in part shade.  Here are photos and more information from Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne Foundation in Sun Valley, CA and Yerba Buena Nursery in Woodside, CA.

Corethrogyne filaginifolia (Common sandaster) grows on slopes in part shade.  Las Pilitas has a a variety, Silver Carpet, that grows to less than 18 inches.  You can see more photos and information from Southern California Research Learning Center.

Monardella macrantha (Hummingbird mint) grows in part shade and has red flowers that attract hummingbirds.  Here are photos and more information from Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne Foundation and Yerba Buena Nursery.

Symphoricarpos mollis (Creeping snowberry) grows well in part shade.  Here are photos and more information from Theodore Payne Foundation and Las Pilitas.

You can see other possibilities for groundcovers on the Las Pilitas groudcovers page and in Ground Cover Plants on the Yerba Buena Nursery webpage.

 

From the Image Gallery


Kinnikinnick
Arctostaphylos uva-ursi

Kinnikinnick
Arctostaphylos uva-ursi

Creeping snowberry
Symphoricarpos mollis

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