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 - 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

More Groundcovers Questions

Ground cover to withstand dog traffic in Michigan
November 02, 2010 - I need a soft ground cover that will grow in sand, and be able to take four big dogs that love to run in the yard. Grass just doesn't make it. Someone suggested that groundcover might work. Thanks...
view the full question and answer

Erosion Control in Bartlesville OK
May 10, 2012 - What kind of plants can we use to stop erosion and loss of bank on a creek that is mostly shaded? Is there any free advice/plants for people that are losing land due to water levels rising/dropping?
view the full question and answer

Grass installation with plugs from Austin
February 05, 2013 - As much as I would love to use the seed mixture you suggest for Austin, I am not physically able to do the needed prep and was unable last year to get a professional. No one would even call me back wh...
view the full question and answer

Want a ground cover instead of St. Augustine to fill in gaps in stone pathway.
November 19, 2012 - I'm considering using Silver Ponyfoot (instead of St. Augustine) to fill in the 6" gaps between my 24"x24" cut limestone blocks footpath and patio. Do they run long that may cover the blocks, whi...
view the full question and answer

Plants to put between stepping stones in Virginia
June 07, 2009 - We are a public school in Northern Virginia and are looking for native plants that could be planted between heavily used stepping stones and could withstand some foot traffic (mostly in a sunny spot, ...
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