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 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

Hanging basket container plants for butterflies and birds
April 08, 2010 - Looking for ideas for hanging baskets that would attract butterflies or birds for interest to a shut-in in North Texas. These would be outside of southwest-facing windows that overlook a paved parkin...
view the full question and answer

Growing native vines in pots from Houston
May 28, 2012 - I am writing in regards to your often mentioned issue of plants not doing as well in pots and in the ground. After last years drought, i moved all the plants I had that were in danger of dying of t...
view the full question and answer

Container plants for terrace in New York City
April 25, 2009 - What flowering plants would you recommend that will grow well on a 16th floor terrace ,with all day sun in NYC?
view the full question and answer

Failure of potted verbena to bloom
July 20, 2008 - I have a trailing purple verbena that won't bloom. It is in a container, not in the ground, and gets lots of sun. What is the problem?
view the full question and answer

Hanging Baskets for Batson, TX
May 23, 2014 - What plants can I put in hanging baskets for my shady porch?
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
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center