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

Monday - May 25, 2009

From: Union, MO
Region: Midwest
Topic: Groundcovers
Title: Groundcover for wet area in Missouri
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hello, I live in Missouri and our neighborhood is built over a natural spring. Half of my yard remains wet/moist for weeks to months and we can't mow it. I'm looking for a ground cover and plants that will be able to survive, take over the grass that is there, and be attractive. The area is mostly shaded with some areas without trees. I'd something low maintenance. Thanks!

ANSWER:

This sounds like a great place for ferns.  Here are some possibilities:

FERNS

Athyrium filix-femina (common ladyfern)

Osmunda cinnamomea (cinnamon fern)

Osmunda regalis (royal fern)

Woodwardia areolata (netted chainfern)

You can add some other plants to the fern mix in the form of:

PERENNIAL HERBACEOUS PLANTS

Asclepias incarnata (swamp milkweed)

Caltha palustris (yellow marsh marigold)

Impatiens capensis (jewelweed)

Iris brevicaulis (zigzag iris)

Lobelia cardinalis (cardinalflower)

Lobelia siphilitica (great blue lobelia)

Monarda didyma (scarlet beebalm)

Vernonia fasciculata (prairie ironweed)


Athyrium filix-femina

Osmunda cinnamomea

Osmunda regalis

Woodwardia areolata

Asclepias incarnata

Caltha palustris

Impatiens capensis

Iris brevicaulis

Lobelia cardinalis

Lobelia siphilitica

Monarda didyma

Vernonia fasciculata

 

 

 

More Groundcovers Questions

Groundcover Suggestion for OK
April 24, 2015 - I need your suggestion for a groundcover for a flower bed in the sun and in the shade in Oklahoma.
view the full question and answer

Ground cover for shade from Atlanta GA
May 28, 2012 - I am looking for recommendations for a ground cover. I live in the Atlanta, Georgia area and have a large shady slope on which I would like to use low maintenance/water native ground cover. What wou...
view the full question and answer

Replacing a Grass Lawn with Moss
January 02, 2010 - I have a small north facing yard that I would like to change from grass to moss. There is some moss now but still lots of grass. I need to rake a lot of leaves in the fall but want to get away from a ...
view the full question and answer

Low-growing plants for a slope in the shade
July 08, 2013 - Hello, I'm looking for native plants to put in the shade (within the drip-line) of a well-established American Holly. The area gets deep shade; it is also on a very gentle north-exposure slope. We ...
view the full question and answer

Plants for a moist, shady spot in central Texas
July 08, 2016 - I am looking for a plant that will grow in almost full shade with plenty of moisture along a fence. We are looking at putting down some flagstone with possibly some moss growing in between, but we don...
view the full question and answer

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