En EspaŅol

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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
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

Leaves on yaupon holly turning brown/black
July 20, 2011 - Arlington TX Yaupon Holly has leaves on stems closer to the bottom of the plant and moving up that are turning brown/black. Is this a disease, over/under watering? There is black gummy soil, but it ha...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting large Silverado Sage bushes from Mesa AZ
August 19, 2013 - We just bought a condo with three Silverado Sage, each one is 6-8 ft tall, trained to grow as "trees" with bare branches for the bottom 4 feet or so, and beautiful flowering branches on top. They ar...
view the full question and answer

Container plant to grow in late afternoon sun
July 02, 2011 - I have a shaded brick walkway that leads to my front door. It faces west, and can get very hot late afternoon Houston sun, although it is shaded for the remainder of the day. I have been successful ...
view the full question and answer

Problems with mountain laurel from Sunrise Beach TX
August 29, 2012 - In Llano Co., TX near lake LBJ, crushed granite type soil - my 4 - 5 year old TX Mtn. Laurels (2), about the size of large wheel barrows, are turning very pale, dropping leaves and on 1 the seed pods ...
view the full question and answer

Holding soil on a bank in Goldsboro, NC
July 25, 2010 - I live in Goldsboro, NC on a small ridge with a very steep bank on one side of our property. What native plants can we plant on the bank to help hold the soil. Also, what would be best to plant on t...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center