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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

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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Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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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

Horseherb
Calyptocarpus vialis

Horseherb
Calyptocarpus vialis

Virginia creeper
Parthenocissus quinquefolia

Tievine
Ipomoea cordatotriloba var. cordatotriloba

More Groundcovers Questions

Ground cover for slippery slope
May 20, 2009 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I am looking for a ground cover for a slippery slope. Do you have any suggestions?
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Restoring the woods in Central Austin.
May 08, 2012 - I live in Austin, south central between Red Bud trail close to the low water bridge and Bee Caves road. My question: I want to make the wooded sections of my yard attractive. They have filtered sun...
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Low ground cover for steep bank in Ohio
September 02, 2008 - We have a 3/4 acre pond that has several places along the bank too steep to mow. We would like to plant some type of ground cover in those areas that would keep the weeds out. The planting would need ...
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How to combat weeds growing in mulch
September 12, 2008 - Trying to decide on either ground cover plants, or some type of gravel. We have a new house where the builder has planted small shrubs in the full sun flower bed next to house. The bed has mulch at th...
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Shrub or Vine for NH Slope
May 11, 2013 - I'm looking for a native plant/shrub/vine that can be used to control erosion on a relatively steep slope in New Hampshire. Do you know of any?
view the full question and answer

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