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

Wednesday - June 29, 2011

From: Atlanta, GA
Region: Southeast
Topic: Groundcovers
Title: Non-invasive sun ground cover for Atlanta GA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I would like to find a non-invasive ground cover for zone 7 (Atlanta, GA) in full sun. I had a bed of ivy with daylilies on a slight slope. I have pulled up the ivy but want something that is not as invasive that will also accommodate the daylilies.

ANSWER:

We are glad you pulled up the English ivy. See this Plant Conservation Alliance Alien Plant Working Group on Hedera helix, English ivy. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is committed to the growth, propagation and protection of plants native not only to North America but to the areas in which those plants grow naturally. We don't like invasives either, so getting rid of a plant that is both invasive and non-native scores points.

We will go to our Native Plant Database, and under Combination Search, select on Georgia, "herb" (herbaceous blooming plant) under Habit, "sun" under Light Requirements and Height of 0-1 ft. You did not say if you wanted perennial plants, but we are asssuming you do, and check "perennial" under Duration. You could use the same search method to find shrubs, trees, ferns, succulents, and grasses for your purposes. This search got us a total of 32 plants, so we will go through and pick some as examples. You can follow each plant link to see what the growing conditions, moisture requirements and general appearance are on that plant, and make your own selections if you prefer.

Ground Covers for Atlanta GA:

Acmella oppositifolia var. repens (Oppositeleaf spotflower)

Anemone caroliniana (Carolina anemone)

Calyptocarpus vialis (Straggler daisy)

Chrysopsis mariana (Maryland goldenaster)

Coreopsis auriculata (Lobed tickseed)

Dicentra cucullaria (Dutchman's breeches)

Indigofera miniata (Coastal indigo)

Phyla nodiflora (Texas frogfruit)

 

From the Image Gallery




Carolina anemone
Anemone caroliniana

Horseherb
Calyptocarpus vialis

Maryland goldenaster
Chrysopsis mariana

Lobed tickseed
Coreopsis auriculata

Dutchman's breeches
Dicentra cucullaria

Scarlet pea
Indigofera miniata

Texas frogfruit
Phyla nodiflora

More Groundcovers Questions

Information about ice plant (Carpobrotus edulis)
May 06, 2008 - I recently planted some Carpobrotus edulis, Ice plant, and wanted to know if I can mulch or put stones around the entire garden and plants. They are a ground cover plant.
view the full question and answer

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...
view the full question and answer

Is Phyla lanceolata (frogfruit) poisonous to dogs fromTitusville FL?
June 01, 2014 - Is Phyla lanceolata, also called Fogfruit, Lanceleaf Fogfruit, or Northern Fogfruit, toxic to dogs? We have it growing amongst our grass. I can't find it on any toxic plant list.
view the full question and answer

Recovering neglected garden space from Grapevine TX
March 22, 2014 - I live in Grapevine TX (Dallas). I just moved into a house where almost the entire large backyard is covered by oak trees that shed tons of leaves throughout our mild falls/winters. The yard has not...
view the full question and answer

Groundcover for shade in Duval County, Florida
September 17, 2014 - What low growing ground cover would be good for a lake edge area. This area is shaded with overlying woodland type trees. I planted some autumn ferns but they have getting overrun with poison ivy. I a...
view the full question and answer

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