Perhaps you have a large bald spot around your flower beds, or you're looking for an attractive plant for your Texas lawn that can take some wear and tear or even foot traffic. Planting a ground cover adds texture and color to a landscape or garden, and it can also help retain moisture in the soil. Choose a ground cover based on your needs and preferences, its maintenance requirements and any ornamental value it may have.
Texas sedge, or Carex texensis, is one of the most commonly found sedges in Texas, according to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. It can be used where turf normally would exist in dry to moist shade. It grows densely from a rhizome, or horizontal stem root. Foliage has a fine texture, with thin, tall blades in a medium green hue. Its color and texture mixes well with other shade vegetation like cedar sage or white avens. It works particularly well for creating a woodland garden. It should be mowed at a high setting to encourage moisture retention and hardiness. Texas sedge can take some wear and tear from foot traffic.
For a ground cover that lasts all year, look at Phyla Nodiflora, commonly known as Texas Frogruit. This plant is an evergreen in climates with mild winters or frost free. It's a part of the verbena genus, characterized by its dense spikes of flowers and semi-woody stems. Verbena includes over 3,000 species of herbs, shrubs and trees. This drought and flood tolerant plant attracts butterflies and will spread across the ground rather vigorously. blossoms are white or pink with five tiny petals atop a cone-like stem. Frogfruit works well in areas where it won't have traffic directly on top of it, rather, it is appropriate as a border.
Confederate Jasmine, or Trachelospermum Jasminoides, is also commonly known as star jasmine. This ground cover is also considered a low twining vine, though it doesn't climb fences or trellises well. It's an evergreen with thick, leather leaves growing 2 inches long. Foliage is dark green on top and lighter on the underside. The plant bears white four-petaled flowers in the early summer months. The blossoms give off a pleasing fragrance. The ground cover is hardy in most areas in Texas, down to 16 degrees Fahrenheit. Confederate jasmine works as a ground cover near patios, under trees and entrances where their bloom and perfume can be enjoyed close by. The ground cover prefers north and east exposures in a shady or partly sunny spot. It does require moderate to high watering or irrigation. It should be pruned moderately after blossoming, and organic matter should be added to the soil once each season.
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