Walkable Groundcover For Shade - Knowledgebase Question

Los Angeles, CA
Avatar for ninanina
Question by ninanina
April 27, 2004
I have a mature pecan tree which provides my Los Angeles (zone 10) backyard with much needed shade. I need to find a groundcover that will take *heavy* foot traffic, plenty of shade when the tree is green (about 8 months/year) amd winter sun when the the tree has lost it's leaves. Something soft enough for kids to play on but tough enough to stand up to the romping. Does such a thing exist?

Answer from NGA
April 27, 2004
To be honest, most groundcovers will not withstand lots of foot traffic, so an alternative suggestion might be to blanket the area with bark chips or install a path or stepping stones with groundcover on both sides. If that doesn't appeal, you can plant Dichondra or Lippia repens(Phyla). Some other traffic-tolerant plants include those that offer more color and texture than the above, such as Erysimum 'Orange Flame' or Leptinella gruveri. Caring for these plants is quite similar to caring for a lawn. They need good light, good drainage and good soil. Gruveri can tolerate the heaviest foot traffic of all.

Hope these suggestions are helpful!

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