En Español

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

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!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Sunday - June 30, 2013

From: Plain Dealing, LA
Region: Southeast
Topic: Groundcovers, Ferns, Herbs/Forbs, Shrubs
Title: Evergreen plant to cover parents' graves in Louisiana
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

We want to plant ground cover on our parents graves in Plain Dealing Cemetery in north Bossier Parish LA. Soil is red clay/dirt. Want native plant, slow growing, short not tall plant, that might stay green all year. Ivy would be okay. Graves are in the shade under a large oak tree. Can you recommend anything please?

ANSWER:

To find the following recommendations, I went to our Louisiana Recommended page that lists plants native to your area that are commercially available for landscaping.  You might like to visit the page to see if there are others in the list that you would be interested in using. 

Asplenium platyneuron (Ebony spleenwort) is an evergreen fern that grows in shade and part shade and is drought-tolerant, but does better in moist soils.

Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern) is an evergreen fern that grows to 1-2 feet but requires moist well-drained soil in the shade.

Packera obovata (Golden groundsel) grows to 1.5 feet and makes a good evergreen groundcover in shade and part shade in moist soil.  It can bloom from February through June.

Salvia lyrata (Lyreleaf sage) is a perennial with evergreen basal leaves that grows in shade, part shade and sun to 1-2 feet.

Phlox pilosa (Downy phlox) is a perennial that grows 1-2 feet high with pink flowers in part shade and sun.

Spigelia marilandica (Woodland pinkroot) is a perennial that grows in part shade to 1-2 feet.

Here are a couple of shrubs that you might like to use near the graves.

Leucothoe axillaris (Coastal doghobble) is an evergreen shrub that grows to 2-4 feet in shade and part shade.

Morella cerifera (Wax myrtle) is an evergreen shrub that grows 6-12 feet in part shade and sun.   There are dwarf varieties available.

 

From the Image Gallery


Ebony spleenwort
Asplenium platyneuron

Coastal doghobble
Leucothoe axillaris

Coastal doghobble
Leucothoe axillaris

Downy phlox
Phlox pilosa

Lyreleaf sage
Salvia lyrata

Lyreleaf sage
Salvia lyrata

Woodland pinkroot
Spigelia marilandica

Christmas fern
Polystichum acrostichoides

Golden groundsel
Packera obovata

Golden groundsel
Packera obovata

Wax myrtle
Morella cerifera

More Ferns Questions

Environmental factors that affect lifecycle stages of maidenhair fern.
November 07, 2014 - What are the environmental factors that can affect the lifecycle stages of a maidenhair fern, particularly A. trichorleopis? Thank you
view the full question and answer

Pool-side ornamentals for south Louisiana
May 07, 2012 - We live in south Louisiana and are re-doing the plants around our pool. What are some low maintenance, small shrubs (flowering) or other ornamentals that would be good in this area?
view the full question and answer

Low cost, low maintenance, water tolerants native plants for New Jersey
February 25, 2006 - I am planning a bed around my deck which will include shrubs and flowers. I am looking for plants that require a lot of water due to the wet soil conditions and poor drainage in my yard. Do you have...
view the full question and answer

Winter hardy fern for northeast Texas
May 20, 2009 - I am looking for a winter hardy fern to grown around my deck. The area would get some morning sun but afternoon shade. What do you suggest?
view the full question and answer

Calcium from Eggshells for Ferns?
December 15, 2014 - I was reading recently about beneficial additions to the soil/plant. The first was about soaking used egg shells overnight and then pouring the water onto ferns. They said that the calcium in eggshell...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center