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
1 rating

Wednesday - May 02, 2007

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Soils, Groundcovers, Shade Tolerant, Shrubs
Title: Native plants for heavy clay soil in east Austin
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I live in East Austin and have very thick clay soil on my property. I also have a lot of shade and partial sun/shade. Can you suggest some native plant varieties that are well-adapted to these conditions? I am looking for groundcover as well as small shrubs or bushes? Many of the native plants I see at local nursuries like more sandy, well-drained soil and lots of direct sun!

ANSWER:

The following will grow in partial shade and tolerate Austin's heavy clay soils.

Groundcovers:

Phyla nodiflora (Texas frogfruit)

Rivina humilis (pigeon-berry)

Carex texensis (Texas sedge)


Shrubs:

Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry)

Calylophus berlandieri ssp. pinifolius (Berlandier's sundrops)

Leucophyllum frutescens (cenizo)

Morella cerifera (wax myrtle)

Pavonia lasiopetala (rose mallow)

Rhus aromatica (fragrant sumac)

Rhus virens (evergreen sumac)

Sophora secundiflora (mountain laurel)


Phyla nodiflora

Rivina humilis

Carex texensis

Callicarpa americana

Calylophus berlandieri ssp. pinifolius

Leucophyllum frutescens

Morella cerifera

Pavonia lasiopetala

Rhus aromatica

Rhus virens

Sophora secundiflora

 

 

More Soils Questions

Will wood shavings in the soil require nitrogen from Charleston MO
May 04, 2011 - I cut down a big maple tree and a lot of the wood shavings was left in the soil. I planted a flower bed over the area this spring. I later read that the wood chips in the soil would use a lot of nitro...
view the full question and answer

Plants to replace hydrangeas in a wet area in New York
July 09, 2010 - Dear Smarty, Two years ago I planted 4 Endless Summer Hydrangas in front of the front porch of my summer cottage on Saratoga Lake. The first year they struggled the second they are limp. Can you give...
view the full question and answer

Should I acidify my well water for native plants
July 15, 2008 - Should I acidify my well water for irrigation of native plants? There is not enough rainwater collection.
view the full question and answer

Problem with Salvia Mystic Spires in Chesterfield VA
May 30, 2009 - Last August, our local Lowes had these beautiful, unusual blue perennials on the discount rack called "Salvia Mystic Spires". For 50 cents each, they looked terrific, so I bought all they had, about...
view the full question and answer

Landscaping plant for Austin
September 01, 2011 - Great site! Have gotten lots of ideas. We're about to start construction on a fairly major landscaping project: raised beds/privacy screen. We're at the top of a hill in the Hill Country just wes...
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center