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

Stumps of fallen oaks in Hurricane Irene from Newton PA
September 03, 2011 - Two large red oaks fell in the woods in our yard in Newtown PA due to Hurricane Irene. The trees have been removed, but the stumps remain. Please can you recommend some fast-growing, attractive, nativ...
view the full question and answer

Dwarf native plants for shade in Burlington, MA
May 02, 2009 - Hi, I removed all of the evergreen shrubs in front of my house in Zone 6. It is in full shade all summer but has some sun during the spring because of a huge beech tree in front yard. there is 2 8'...
view the full question and answer

Replacing mature Arizona Ash trees in Austin
August 26, 2011 - Mr. Smarty Plants, I have 2 very large, very old Arizona Ash trees in my yard. I want to remove them and replace them with something like Cedar Elm or Chinquapin Oak. The problem is that they are t...
view the full question and answer

Stress in potted Tif blueberry plants
August 15, 2008 - Recently purchased Tif Blue Blueberry plants (about 3 ft tall)are showing signs of stress. They are in 10 gallon pots. Should they be transplanted? Medium? Fertilizer? Location? Trimming?
view the full question and answer

Native Plants for a Shaded Patio Container in Missouri
April 17, 2015 - What kind of native plants would grow well in a pot on a fully shaded patio? I live in Kansas City, Missouri. The patio faces north and doesn't get any direct sunlight, but it gets lots of indirect...
view the full question and answer

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