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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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Friday - March 29, 2013

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Groundcovers, Shade Tolerant, Herbs/Forbs, Vines
Title: South Austin Groundcovers for Oak Shade
Answered by: Brigid & Larry Larson

QUESTION:

Hi! I live in S. Austin now but used to work at the Wildflower Center! My backyard is shady with several oak mots. Do you have any suggestions as to what if any ground cover will grow in all that shade? Thanks, Peggy Budd

ANSWER:

Greetings Peggy,   Yes, Mr Smarty Plants remembers you fondly.   [Mrs Smarty Plants too!]

We've got lots of suggestions.  Your question is one of those on our top ten list, so I’m going to  refer you to a few of the better answers from the recent past.  Several of those refer to even earlier questions, so I expect you can easily find a few suggestions from this body of work that will be pleasing to you in your S. Austin lawn. 

Plants under Oak Trees in Austin TX
Sunny and shady lawns from Austin 
Groundcover for Austin yard
Tolerant Grasses and Groundcovers for Waco TX
Groundcovers for Kingsland TX

 My favorites are in the pictures below!

 

From the Image Gallery


Texas frogfruit
Phyla nodiflora

Texas frogfruit
Phyla nodiflora

Straggler daisy
Calyptocarpus vialis

Straggler daisy
Calyptocarpus vialis

Virginia creeper
Parthenocissus quinquefolia

Tievine
Ipomoea cordatotriloba var. cordatotriloba

More Shade Tolerant Questions

Shade tree with non-aggressive roots for next to pool in The Woodlands TX
April 26, 2011 - Hi Mr. Smarty Plants. We live in Spring, TX and are looking for a full-sun shade tree to plant in a large planter (about 6'x6') next to our pool. We want the tree to provide shade for our full a...
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Tough grasses for shade
November 24, 2010 - What kind of grass/groundcover can I put in our backyard that is shady/dry and has 50 lb. high energy dog traffic? Was considering Horse Herb but not sure, as it sounds like you can't get rid of it,...
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Wildlife Attracting Plants for a Shady Patio
July 03, 2014 - We have a concrete patio that receives 2-3 hours of sunlight a day, so the only plants we will be able to grow will be in container. We are looking for plants that do well in shade, and containers and...
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Grapeland, TX is NOT Grapevine, TX
July 25, 2013 - I submitted a question and today received my answer. I do thank you for this valuable service. However, I stated that I lived in East Texas in GRAPELAND, Tx. Nan Hampton answered me and said that a...
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Large shrub for screen in shade
June 11, 2008 - I am trying to find some large shrubs that will thrive in shade in the north Texas climate. This area will receive very little light during the day but need to grow quite large to hide a fence and cr...
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