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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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Thursday - February 11, 2016

From: Salado, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Groundcovers
Title: Vinca as a groundcover
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Someone told me that Vinca would be a great ground cover for my very large mostly shaded area. How can I establish it and where can I get it? Thanks in advance.

ANSWER:

The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center would not recommend either Vinca major or Vinca minor since both are native to Europe and Asia and are considered invasive because they grow and take over areas where our native plants grow.  There are several native groundcover plants that we can recommend that will do well in your mostly shady areas.

You can check our National Suppliers Directory for nurseries and seed companies near you that specialize in native plants.  Native American Seed in Junction, Texas has a few of these available.  The Wildflower Center Spring Plant Sale occurs in April 2016—April 9 for members only, April 10-11 for the general public.  Check the Spring Plant Sale page closer to the time of the sale for lists of plants available at the sale.

 

 

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More Groundcovers Questions

Identification of plant, possibly Justicia pilosella, for groundcover
October 10, 2007 - I'm newly relocated to Texas and find I have a yard with three major types of green growing. Close to the house (and mostly shaded) is St. Augustine. Furthest out front, (unshaded) is the Bermudagra...
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September 24, 2011 - Could you recommend some deer resistant ground cover plants for the New Braunfels area? We have tried Ajuga and Katie's Ruellia and they have been eaten.
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Groundcover for Bonsall, CA
October 17, 2012 - I live in Bonsall, CA. (San Diego) I have 3 acres, flat and sloped that are graded dirt. (DG and sheep poop from previous owner). It is getting close to mud season and I'd like to plant winter cover...
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Groundcover and Butterfly attractants for LaRue Texas
May 02, 2012 - LaRue, TX - Would like a native low growing plant as a groundcover. I would like it for six+ hours of sun, drought tolerant, and ones that butterflies might enjoy, while deer won't. Some winter int...
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Low Ground Cover for Steep, Shaded PA Site
February 17, 2014 - I am located in Downingtown, PA, right on the border between Zone 6 and 7. Please provide a recommendation of a native ground cover for the following conditions: steep slope (greater than 45%), full s...
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