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

Wednesday - June 20, 2007

From: Elgin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shade Tolerant
Title: Sedges and ornamentals for shade in Bastrop County
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I bought a home in Elgin, TX that was owned by an elderly woman. Most of the lawn is shaded by elm or pecan trees. In the sunny areas, i got native wildflowers to grow like lantana and coneflower, but the lawn is mostly horse herb, carpet grass, and mixed tall prairie grasses. What else can I plant in the shade that are native flowers? Could the grasses be replaced by cedar or Texas sedge in the sandy soil of Bastrop County? Would the sedge out compete the horse herb?

ANSWER:

There are three sedges that should do well in your area:

Carex planostachys (cedar sedge)

Carex texensis (Texas sedge)

Carex cherokeensis (Cherokee sedge)

The sedges are usually a little slow to get established, but Calyptocarpus vialis (straggler daisy or horse herb) should not out-compete them. To manage the grasses that are already there, you are going to have to dig them out and keep removing them as they reappear to keep them from taking over.

Here are a few other plants that do well in shade or part shade that are native to Bastrop County.

Ornamental grasses:

Chasmanthium latifolium (Indian woodoats)

Elymus canadensis (Canada wildrye)

Wildflowers:

Geum canadense (white avens)

Ruellia nudiflora (violet wild petunia)

Salvia lyrata (lyreleaf sage)

Symphyotrichum patens var. patens (late purple aster)

Calylophus berlandieri (Berlandier's sundrops)

Viola sororia (common blue violet)

Phyla nodiflora (turkey tangle fogfruit)

Lobelia cardinalis (cardinalflower)


Carex texensis

Chasmanthium latifolium

Elymus canadensis

Geum canadense

Ruellia nudiflora

Salvia lyrata

Symphyotrichum patens var. patens

Calylophus berlandieri

Viola sororia

Phyla nodiflora

Lobelia cardinalis

 

 

More Shade Tolerant Questions

Native shade plants around fountain in California
March 18, 2009 - Hi, we just put a fountain in our front yard. It is in a mostly shady area. I need to know what plants would go best around the fountain and survive in the shade.
view the full question and answer

Disagreement with HOA on raised beds placed beneath mature oak from Tequesta FL
April 05, 2014 - I have mature 30 year old oak trees on my property and I put a raised bed under each with very good soil and I used pavers for retaining the soil about about 1.5 ft high. I planted a perennial begonia...
view the full question and answer

Selection of shade tree and distance from house
February 19, 2008 - I live in California in zone 8b. I have seen the lists of trees for my area. I am still not clear on what tree to select. I would like to plant a nice tall shady tree very close to my house, but I wan...
view the full question and answer

Plants for narrow planter boxes in San Antonio
October 02, 2010 - We have a narrow flower planter box in three sections above a french drain in front of our house. The box is about 2 feet high (filled with Gardenville soil) above a french drain covered with filter ...
view the full question and answer

Plants under Oak Trees in Austin TX
December 10, 2012 - Half of my small yard is in the shade of one big live oak and one kumquat. Nothing I plant grows in this shade. The other half of my yard gets sunlight. It is planted with Jasmine grass which grows w...
view the full question and answer

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