En Español

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 24, 2007

From: Dallas, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Container Gardens
Title: Choosing large containers (pots) for plants in Dallas, Texas.
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

Hi, I was wondering if you could help me pick a plant for a container garden. We live in Dallas, TX. Our soil is very clay, but I thought we could do something fun in containers with sand or something. Would it be possible for us to grow blueberries or some other fruit in a shady area? I wouldn't want to bring it in when the weather gets cold (big containers).

ANSWER:

Blueberries and most other fruit-bearing plants prefer full sun to perform well. If your container garden must be in the shade, your choices for fruiting shrubs and trees will be limited. Moreover, blueberries require acid soil, so you would need to amend container's soil substantially to lower the pH. A nice choice for a shady area container would be American Beautyberry (Callicarpa americana). It should be noted, though, that the fruit of this plant is not edible. Regardless of what you choose to plant in your container, you will need to amend your clayey soil to loosen it up some. Thoroughly mixing one part commercial potting mix to two parts soil is probably about right for most plants in large containers. Container-grown plants tend to dry out faster than those in the ground, so you will need to keep a close eye on them, especially during summer. In winter, container-grown plants are more susceptible to cold because the roots are much more likely to freeze in an exposed location.
 

More Container Gardens Questions

Indoor native container plants for Central Texas
December 09, 2007 - I like to model the beauty of native plants where ever possible, and would like to have some in my office. Are there any Central TX natives that will survive in an office environment? I do have a bi...
view the full question and answer

Plants for indoor container gardening from Lax Vegas NV
May 10, 2013 - What is an good flower to grow in a pot? I live in a apt., and like roses,tulips etc. if that helps any.
view the full question and answer

Native Plants for North Texas Container
July 12, 2011 - What would you recommend for a large permanent plant for a large container (3' X 3') for Plano, Texas in the sun?
view the full question and answer

Container plant in difficult sun exposure from Leander TX
June 06, 2014 - HELP!!!! I have a large Mexican terracotta pot on my front porch. This awkward area is facing westward, so receives the full dose of Texas sun after about 3 pm onward. Now here's the catch; my fr...
view the full question and answer

Native plants for containers on patio in Houston
January 30, 2010 - What native plants in Texas (I live in Houston) will do well in pots on my patio- they get about 1/2 day sunlight. Is there anything shrub-like that will live from year to year? Thank you
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center