Melody's Gardening in Central Texas

Groundcovers and Other Ornamentals for Central Texas

Below is a list of the best groundcovers and ornamental plants for Central Texas:

Asian Jasmine: Asian Jasmine is carefree and dependable. The great thing about it is that it can grow in part sun as well as shade, which is something that most groundcovers will not tolerate. We have even seen it doing well in full sun. Be sure to give it moderate water if it gets much sun, less water in the shade.

Caladiums: a great choice for shady areas, caladiums come in many beautiful shades from white to red. Caladiums are grown from tubers planted every year. They will not last through freezing weather. A great container plant.

Carolina Jessamine: this is a vine that is useful as a groundcover. It has glossy green leaves and yellow flowers in early spring. It will trail off a fence or a hillside. It takes full sun to light shade.

Cast iron plant: this is a shade loving green foliage plant that requires no care and no supplementary water to survive. Of course, it does better with an occasional watering. It is one of the plants that we can recommend highly for deep shade.

Clematis: the only clematis I can recommend for Central Texas is the Sweet Autumn clematis. At the end of summer it has masses of little starlike white flowers. Like all clematis it likes its roots in the shade and it leaves out in the sun.

Coleus: A great shade plant for bed or in containers. Even though there are some who say coleus are able to stand more sun, here in Texas it's still better for them to be in the shade. Plant when all danger of frost is over.

Cyperus: This plant looks like papyrus. It is easy to grow in either sun or shade, it's a drought tolerant, and yet it can take wet areas. It has clumping roots that can be used as a soil erosion barrier.

EnglishIvy: English Ivy is a carefree groundcover, but you must be sure you want it, because it will spread rampantly as long as it gets a little water. It can live in mostly shade.

liriopeLiriope : This is a grass that is extremely useful as a border plant or placed on slopes to help control erosion. It is a perennial and will spread every year. These plants are so useful that I have hundreds of them in my landscape used as borders around many of my bed and across my slopes. They prevent erosion as well as any wall I have ever used. And it can be trimmed to a uniform shape for borders or left to grow naturally which will encourage the purple bloom spikes to appear in summer. It will grow in virtually any kind of condition and needs only a little water occasionally.

Mint is not usually thought of as a groundcover, since it is an herb, but mint can be used in this way quite successfully. Mint will spread rapidly and will have to be contained in some way. When you trim mint, its wonderful, refreshing scent fills the air.

purple heartSetcreasea: Also known as purple heart, this ornamental plant is a great accent plant. It has purple leaves that go well with other plants in part shade.

Succulents: Many low-growing succulents can be used as groundcover. There are many varieties, and many will grow in sun or some shade. They are disease resistant and drought tolerant, but you must remember that they cannot take much foot traffic.

sweet potato vineSweet potato vine: This lovely vine comes in lime green and purple versions. Both are lovely, but the lime has more landscaping potential. Since it grows in partly shady locations, the lime variety can brighten up an area that needs more light. This is the case in the accompanying photo.