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looking for a short, drought tolerant groundcover

Posted by aldyrin (My Page) on
Sun, Mar 21, 10 at 18:38

I've moved into a home with a relatively steep backyard. The previous owners just let it be wild back here, and now that it has started to get warmer, it has gotten pretty hairy back there quickly.

Since I have a dog back there part of the time, and my area is known to have some issues with rattlesnakes, I was hoping to eliminate (or reduce) the weeds with a groundcover that is short enough to be unattractive as a habitat to snakes. maybe 4" tall at the maximum.

The area is about 80' x 80', with part full sun, part very shady.

The criteria I am looking for are:

1. Drought tolerant
2. Short to the ground
3. Not poisonous to dogs

If anyone has suggestions, I'm all ears. I was thinking maybe some Muehlenbeckia axillaris, but I can't find any at the local nurseries, and I'm not sure whether or not it would damage my trees.

In addition, since I'm in the north, hilly part of San Antonio, the soil here is pretty thin, with rock underneath.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: looking for a short, drought tolerant groundcover

Horse herb grows very well under those conditions around my place. The info says it gets to 8 or 10 inches high, but it doesn't get that tall in my dry rocky thin soil conditions. I've got a picture somewhere of it growing wild in the easement in back of our house. Check it out. Nurseries sell it, or you might find some growing wild you could transplant.

Here is a link that might be useful: Calyptocarpus vialis

RE: I found the picture ...

Here is the picture. Click on photo for larger view:

It might not grow this thickly in a dry year, and other weeds can grow up in it, but if the weeds are pulled before they go to seed you will finally have a pretty thick stand of horse herb only.

RE: looking for a short, drought tolerant groundcover

I like silver pony'sfoot, SAlvia chionophylum , snakeroot or is it snake plant, and Dalea gregii. These will take abuse. I have rootings avaiolble of most of these.

RE: looking for a short, drought tolerant groundcover

I bought a plant from Schumachers Hill Country Nursery, that sounds like what your looking for. I think it gets up to 5 or 6 inches tall. I am in the NW part of San Antonio, close to the Medical Center. Email me if you would like to come by and get a start. I do not remember the name of the plant, but I think it is pretty, and has color. I think they may still sell it, I am not sure, I have not been back to Schumacher's since last April, after the Buda plant swap. Barbra

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