sarb
Newly Registered
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Mar 18, 2007 4:22 pm
Location: Texas

Groundcover in Texas - Help!!

Hi,

I am new to Texas (originally from the midwest). I am living in the Brazos County in College Station, TX where I am told it is a challenge growing plants in this area.

I am trying to find a groundcover to cover a large area.

Here is my situation:

Link to picture of the area I am working with:

https://www.sitesbysarah.com/post_oak.htm

I have put a pool in the back yard and there are two beautiful Post Oak Trees to the right that we want to save. I am told that with proper treatment, this can be done. The problem is that they are very sensitive and that if we put grass under them, the constant watering would kill the trees. So we are considering ground cover for that area. Something that would (once established) not take a lot of water or maintenance to grow. I think I am in Zone 7.

1. The location is on the Northeast side of the house. It would get morning sun, but in the summer there would be shade created by the two post oaks, so not sure how much sun they would actually receive during the summer months when trees are leafed out.

2. I am told that we have a population of copper head snakes in brazos county, so looking for a ground cover that would NOT be inviting to snakes, something low to the ground??

3. I would prefer something that doesn't die during the winter so that we don't have a large patch of brown over the winter months.

4. I would like something that puts out some kind of flower if possible that would attract butterflies??

Any suggestions you could give me would be so helpful.

Thank you,
Sarb

Newt
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1868
Joined: Wed May 26, 2004 2:44 am
Location: Maryland zone 7

Hi Sarb,

Congratulations on your new home and pool and welcome to The Helpful Gardener! You can check your hardiness zone here with this zip code zone finder.
https://www.gardenweb.com/zones/zip.cgi

My biggest concern for your trees would be how they were protected when the pool was put in. Post oak is also sensitive to root disturbance.
https://www.arborilogical.com/articles/contruction_injury.htm

Take a look at these sites to see if you need to take action to insure their health.
https://www.extension.umn.edu/distribution/housingandclothing/DK6135.html

The first groundcover that came to mind was one of the creeping thymes. They bloom in spring, stay about 3" tall and smell wonderful when stepped on, but they require full sun. There are many other stepable groundcovers. Sounds like you will need one that can tolerate full to part sun. Part sun would be 4 to 6 hours. Take a look at these two sites. You can use their search engine. You'll definately want to select something with low water use as well.
https://stepables.com/
https://classygroundcovers.com/

Both site have a calculator so you can estimate how many you will need.
https://classygroundcovers.com/page----plantingguidelines
https://stepables.com/groundcover.asp

Great picture btw. :)

Newt

Compost Rebel
Newly Registered
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2007 4:59 pm
Location: Central Texas

What about purple heart? It will put out nice little purple flowers, and I have grown them under spreading live oaks here in central texas with great success. Don't know about the butterfly part, but it is a great and easy groundcover.

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