Contact Us Host an Event Volunteer Join

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

Thursday - January 22, 2015

From: La Grange, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Xeriscapes, Drought Tolerant, Groundcovers, Grasses or Grass-like, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Plants for a sunny, sandy site in Central Texas
Answered by: Guy Thompson

QUESTION:

I live between La Grange and Schulenburg, Texas. My soil is sandy. Full sun, no trees. I am a senior citizen with limited funds who is allergic to Rye and Bermuda grass. I tried planting a lawn of just various types of mint plants but most of the mint has died and is not spreading. What type of drought tolerant ground cover or grass do you recommend for full sun and sandy soil about 1500 square feet. I read about Habiturf and the directions state it is NOT for sandy soil. I looked at Eco-Grass but am not certain it will live in the heat. Any help you can give me will be greatly appreciated! Thank you for your time.

ANSWER:

You can check through a list of plants suitable for your setting and choose those that seem desirable.  I picked out a few from the list that seemed especially well suited.  Bouteloua rigidiseta (Texas grama) and Bouteloua curtipendula (Sideoats grama) are grasses that do well in sandy soil.  Low-growing forbs include Callirhoe involucrata (Winecup)Dalea greggii (Gregg dalea)Chrysactinia mexicana (Damianita) and Coreopsis lanceolata (Lanceleaf coreopsis).  Somewhat taller-growing plants would be Asclepias tuberosa (Butterflyweed)Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. wrightii (Flame acanthus) and Ageratina havanensis (Shrubby boneset).  

 

From the Image Gallery


Texas grama
Bouteloua rigidiseta

Sideoats grama
Bouteloua curtipendula

Winecup
Callirhoe involucrata

Gregg dalea
Dalea greggii

Lanceleaf coreopsis
Coreopsis lanceolata

Butterflyweed
Asclepias tuberosa

Shrubby boneset
Ageratina havanensis

Flame acanthus
Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. wrightii

Damianita
Chrysactinia mexicana

More Groundcovers Questions

Starting over on a lawn in Heath TX
April 02, 2013 - Unless one counts dichondra as grass I have more weeds than grass in my yard.I have hand pulled the weeds and used an organic program without success. The soil is a hard clay typical of North Texas. I...
view the full question and answer

Perennial ground cover for hillside in Holmdel NJ
April 25, 2014 - I live in NJ. I would like to use a perennial ground cover for my landscaping bed on a hill with full sun and deer resistant. It's a good size landscaping bed that is facing east (southeast). What...
view the full question and answer

Pet Friendly Groundcovers for CA
January 23, 2016 - I am looking for pet friendly, groundcover plants in San Jose, CA.
view the full question and answer

Groundcovers for Sarasota County, Florida
January 02, 2010 - I would like to replace the grass in my yard with native or any other appropriate ground cover. I live in North Port, Sarasota County Florida. I would be grateful for any suggestions. Thank you in ad...
view the full question and answer

Plants for a mixed border in Houston
February 22, 2010 - I live in Houston and have a flowerbed I'd like to fill with plants that will look good year-round. The back is already lined with 6-foot shrubs so nothing like that. I'd like something with colorf...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.