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 - 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.

 

 

From the Image Gallery


Texas sedge
Carex texensis

Cedar sedge
Carex planostachys

Texas frogfruit
Phyla nodiflora

Lyreleaf sage
Salvia lyrata

Lyreleaf sage
Salvia lyrata

Horseherb
Calyptocarpus vialis

Horseherb
Calyptocarpus vialis

Violet ruellia
Ruellia nudiflora

Pigeonberry
Rivina humilis

More Groundcovers Questions

Plants to grow between flagstones in the Hudson River Valley of New York
May 08, 2012 - I live in newburgh, ny & have aquired some bluestone. I want to do a walkway but will need a low mowable ground cover to go between the stones (not enough bluestone to cover the area. I know I have ...
view the full question and answer

Native groundcovers to replace non-native St. Augustine
May 24, 2007 - I live in west Travis County just south of Lake Austin. My backyard is very shady and does not drain well. I want to spend some time and effort landscaping it. I have thought about Amerishade St. A...
view the full question and answer

Does Calyptocarpus vialis (Horseherb) compete with turf grasses
October 05, 2015 - For my yard in central Austin Does horse herb, Calyptocarpus vialis help or damage the growth of native short grasses? The grasses include Curly Mesquite and Blue Gamma planted early in the spring or...
view the full question and answer

Drought tolerant plants for IN
August 23, 2011 - What are some plants that would do well in an east facing area near my front door? I live in Indianapolis IN. I need something that is drought resistant and will fill in a 4x3 foot walled off area th...
view the full question and answer

Groundcover for area under oaks in Lake Conroe, Texas
October 17, 2010 - I live just off Lake Conroe, and my backyard is more dirt than grass. It is under a number of oak trees, and the dirt is more of a silt than a sand. I need suggestions for a quick growing ground cover...
view the full question and answer

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