Rent Shop Volunteer Join

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - May 15, 2014

From: Ann Arbor, MI
Region: Midwest
Topic: Shrubs
Title: Small Shrub for a Foundation Planting in Michigan
Answered by: Anne Van Nest

QUESTION:

I need a small, native, perennial shrub for a foundation planting in Michigan.

ANSWER:

The first place to go to find a list of potential plants is our Native Plants Database.  Use the Combination Search feature instead of Recommended Species. This will provide a bigger selection with much more choice to narrow down. The volunteers and staff at the Wildflower Center who maintain the database have partners in different regions to help with these recommended species lists based on what is easy to access in local nurseries.
Under Combination Search, select the following categories: State – Michigan, Habit – Shrub, Duration – Perennial, and Light Requirement – Sun (or part shade, or shade depending on which side of the house you are planting). Then select the soil moisture that you have – dry, moist or wet and the height you have available for your shrub. You can also narrow the search by indicating blooming color and blooming time.

Some shrubs (1-3 ft.) for example that might fit your requirements include:
 

Andromeda polifolia (bog rosemary)

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (kinnikinnick)

Gaylussacia baccata (black huckleberry)

Ledum groenlandicum (bog Labrador tea)

Vaccinium uliginosum (alpine blueberry)

Vaccinium vitis-idaea (lingonberry)


Some taller (3-6 ft.) native shrubs include:
 

Amelanchier stolonifera (running serviceberry)

Spirea alba var. latifolia (meadowsweet)

Symphoricarpos albus (common snowberry)

 

 

From the Image Gallery


Bog rosemary
Andromeda polifolia

Kinnikinnick
Arctostaphylos uva-ursi

Black huckleberry
Gaylussacia baccata

Bog labrador tea
Ledum groenlandicum

Alpine blueberry
Vaccinium uliginosum

Lingonberry
Vaccinium vitis-idaea

Running serviceberry
Amelanchier stolonifera

Common snowberry
Symphoricarpos albus

More Shrubs Questions

Problems with rock rose in Austin
June 10, 2013 - Hi Mr Smarty Pants, We have a Texas Rock Rose which is growing next to our gravel path in Austin, with grass growing under it. In the last week, it has stopped blooming suddenly, and all the leaves h...
view the full question and answer

Problems with Eves necklacepods (Styphnolobium affine)
March 25, 2008 - Mr. S-P, I urgently need your advice regarding two Eve's necklacepods that appear to be dying. They are in two completely different areas of my yard. One began leafing out and then the leaves sh...
view the full question and answer

Plants for a windbreak on a slope in OH
April 20, 2011 - Have property at the top of a valley with a steep drop off. Would like to know native to NE Ohio ground covers, grasses perennials, and not too tall trees for windbreak that will prevent erosion. The ...
view the full question and answer

Cupressaceae dying in Suffolk Co.NY
October 20, 2012 - I have noticed that all of my Cupressaceae (& others I see in my area) are dying. They turn yellow, then rust & brown til they are everbrowns. what is going on?
view the full question and answer

Foundation plants for Albuquerque.
July 01, 2012 - Hello, I live in Albuquerque. I am looking for some native/xeric low water usage plants for foundation plants for my home. They will be foundation plants for a two story home that has a large ponde...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.