Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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
1 rating

Saturday - January 23, 2016

From: San Jose, CA
Region: California
Topic: Groundcovers, Herbs/Forbs, Vines
Title: Pet Friendly Groundcovers for CA
Answered by: Anne Van Nest

QUESTION:

I am looking for pet friendly, groundcover plants in San Jose, CA.

ANSWER:

Let’s start first with a list of native plants for your area. Take a look at the Native Plant Database on the www.wildflower.org website and put in the following search criteria: State = California, habit = vine, duration = perennial, light requirement = shade, soil moisture = dry.  Then select the light requirements and soil moisture levels you have. This will generate a list of vines that could act like groundcover plants.

Then cross-reference the native vines list with the poisonous plants list on the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) website. This website lists plants that are toxic or non-toxic to pets.

Best wishes in your search.

 

From the Image Gallery


Snapdragon vine
Maurandella antirrhiniflora

American vetch
Vicia americana

American vetch
Vicia americana

Orange honeysuckle
Lonicera ciliosa

Pride of california
Lathyrus splendens

Western white clematis
Clematis ligusticifolia

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Nightflowering plants native to Northern Illinois
October 12, 2010 - Looking for any/all info on night flowering plants that are native to Northern Illinois.
view the full question and answer

Plants to stabilize sandy slope in Massachusetts
September 23, 2011 - Dear Mr. Smartypants, I am working on a small public housing project in Chelmsford, MA, northwest of Boston. We have a steep, sunny and SANDY slope and I am stumped as to what to recommend that wi...
view the full question and answer

Native plants both deer resistant and good for erosion from North Oaks MN
August 23, 2012 - We have several partially sunny areas on hills that are prone to both deer and erosion. Our goal is to reduce runoff in an effort to preserve the watershed that provides tap water to many citizens of ...
view the full question and answer

Wildlife garden for Austin
May 19, 2013 - I am trying to make my backyard more wildlife friendly. I have pecan trees for the canopy and some understory shrub/trees like rough leaf dogwood and redbud. I am having a really hard time finding sui...
view the full question and answer

Ecosysystem with pecan at center from Austin
February 21, 2014 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I would like to create a native tree guild around a mature pecan. It shares its space with native shrubs and ephemerals but I would like to add a nitrogen fixing plant. I am...
view the full question and answer

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