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

Tuesday - October 02, 2012

From: Lubbock , TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Groundcovers, Shade Tolerant
Title: Groundcover for rock garden under large oak
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I am planning a small rock garden under a large oak tree. I would like a spreading evergreen ground cover that will grow in the shade. Drought-tolerant would be preferred as I live in the high plains of Texas (Lubbock). We are now on water-rationing. Any suggestions?

ANSWER:

 Here are some low-growing plants that are native to the Panhandle of Texas that will grow in part shade (2 to 6 hours of sun per day).  I wasn't able to find any groundcover-type plants that are native to the Panhandle that grow in dry full shade (less than 2 hours sun per day).  These that grow in part shade should be able to grow in the shade, but they probably won't flower as much as they would in the sun.

Glandularia bipinnatifida var. bipinnatifida (Prairie verbena) grows in part shade and sun.

Hedeoma drummondii (Drummond's false pennyroyal) grows in part shade.

Melampodium leucanthum (Blackfoot daisy) grows in part shade and sun.

Pectis angustifolia (Limoncillo) grows in part shade.

Portulaca pilosa (Chisme) grows in part shade and sun.

Quincula lobata (Purple groundcherry) grows in part shade and sun.

Scutellaria resinosa (Resin-dot skullcap) grows in part shade.

Tradescantia occidentalis (Prairie spiderwort) grows in part shade and sun. 

Zinnia grandiflora (Rocky mountain zinnia) grows in part shade.

You can search for other possibilities on the Texas-High Plains Recommended list.  You can use the NARROW YOUR SEARCH option to choose the criteria for the plants you want.

 

From the Image Gallery


Prairie verbena
Glandularia bipinnatifida var. bipinnatifida

Drummond's false pennyroyal
Hedeoma drummondii

Blackfoot daisy
Melampodium leucanthum

Limoncillo
Pectis angustifolia

Kiss me quick
Portulaca pilosa

Purple groundcherry
Quincula lobata

Resin-dot skullcap
Scutellaria resinosa

Prairie spiderwort
Tradescantia occidentalis

Rocky mountain zinnia
Zinnia grandiflora

More Shade Tolerant Questions

Vines for shade in Central Texas
February 04, 2008 - We'd like to fill in our long expanse of yard fencing with climbing vines. We are limited by 40' live oaks that cut off the sun but surely something works in the shade and heat!
view the full question and answer

Shade tolerant evergreens for privacy shield in Louisville KY
March 10, 2014 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, Our property is adjacent to the highway for ~ 200ft. I'm looking for partial-to-full shade tolerant evergreens that will grow to be relatively tall. Our soil is clay and g...
view the full question and answer

Arborvitae thinning in Bucks County, PA
April 09, 2010 - My arborvitae trees are about 11 ft. tall. I had them put in about 3 years ago. They were 8 to 10 ft. when planted. After the first year, I have noticed they are thinning to the point where you can se...
view the full question and answer

Partial shade plants for underneath ash tree in Tarrant County, Texas
April 20, 2011 - I have a BIG Ash Tree in my front yard that blocks out most afternoon sun. I generally get morning and evening sun. I am looking for something to plant around the base of the tree so my yard doesn'...
view the full question and answer

Plants for shade, poor soil in Park Ridge NJ
June 17, 2010 - Hello! I live in far northeast New Jersey, by the New York state border. I am looking for plants for areas of my lawn that nothing currently grows in - due to shade and poor soil quality - very rocky,...
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center