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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.

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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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Tuesday - March 05, 2013

From: Keithville, LA
Region: Southeast
Topic: Groundcovers, Shade Tolerant, Trees
Title: Plants for under Oak Trees in LA.
Answered by: Brigid & Larry Larson

QUESTION:

What type of plants and grass can be planted under and around oak trees

ANSWER:

   In an effort to not be too redundant – Mr. Smarty Plants has some really good answers to this in the archives.   Here is the link to a good one focussed around Austin, TX, and the links to further answers are contained in both.  The first sentence is a pretty good Executive Summary!

   “Finding something decent to grow under a Live Oak is one of those eternal challenges for the Austin area. As such, these three question/answer pairs from the Mr Smarty Archives contain a pretty good selection of advice towards native plants that will cope with the shade, alleleopathy and dense roots under a live Oak.”

Ground Cover under Oaks in Austin
Good One: Ground Cover under Live Oaks
2-4 Ft Shrub for Oak Shaded bed

I checked the plants recommended in the above links and all of them are shown as natives in Lousiana in addition to Texas, so even though the messages refer to Austin, the answers should work for Keithville.  If you'd like to investigate the recommended species for Louisiana, this link leads to that list. 

 

From the Image Gallery


Turkscap
Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii

Dwarf palmetto
Sabal minor

Texas lantana
Lantana urticoides

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