Explore Plants

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
    
 

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
3 ratings

Saturday - September 29, 2007

From: Kempner, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shade Tolerant
Title: Plants for wildlife and trees for shade.
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

We live in Kempner Texas, our land has mostly cedar trees. We would like to make a wildlife habitat on the back side of our property. Can you recommend plants that will grow in shade to partial sun, compatible with cedar and wildlife friendly? Also we want a good shade tree for our front.

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants has these suggestions for plants native to Lampasas County Texas that will benefit wildlife.

Shrubs/Small trees:
The following shrubs or small trees have flowers that attract nectar-feeding insects and hummingbirds, their fruits provide food for a variety of mammals and birds, and their foliage provides nesting sites for birds.

Ilex decidua (possumhaw)

Ilex vomitoria (yaupon)

Cercis canadensis var. texensis (Texas redbud)

Frangula caroliniana (Carolina buckthorn)

Mahonia trifoliolata (agarita)

Prunus mexicana (Mexican plum)

Rhus lanceolata (prairie sumac)

Viburnum rufidulum (rusty blackhaw)


Grasses:
Grasses are especially valuable to wildlife, plus these two are very attractive and will grow in shade and part-shade.

Elymus canadensis (Canada wildrye)

Chasmanthium latifolium (Inland sea oats)

There are many choices for a shade tree for your front yard and oaks are always a favorite. Mr. SP recommends that you avoid liveoaks and red oaks since they are particularly susceptible to oak wilt disease. However, there are several oaks for your area that are oak wilt resistant. These are:

Quercus macrocarpa (bur oak)

Quercus muehlenbergii (chinkapin oak)

Quercus stellata (post oak)

Besides oaks, Ulmus crassifolia (cedar elm) and Ulmus americana (American elm), are good shade trees and do very well with Juniperus ashei (Ashe's juniper), also called cedar trees.

If you would like a small tree with spectacular fall colors, you can't go wrong with Acer grandidentatum (bigtooth maple).

 


 


 

More Shade Tolerant Questions

Grasses for shady areas
November 24, 2013 - I would like to know which grasses would grow in mostly shady part of the house.
view the full question and answer

Container plants for Arlington TX
February 10, 2012 - Mr. Smarty Plants, I just moved to Arlington, TX. I am trying to create a container garden on my apartment balcony. What flowers, herbs, vegetables, and fruit combinations can I put together that wil...
view the full question and answer

Native ground covers for shade in East Texas
June 06, 2008 - I live in Mount Pleasant, Texas which is in northeast Texas. I would like a list of ground covers that would do well in our area. The place I want to put it gets a lot of shade. The ground is clay. Th...
view the full question and answer

Prairie wattle for woodland area in Austin
November 29, 2009 - Can prairie wattle be grown in a woodland area? It would get part shade, with full sun for at least half a day. The soil is a bit rocky; location is Austin.
view the full question and answer

Large shrub for screen in shade
June 11, 2008 - I am trying to find some large shrubs that will thrive in shade in the north Texas climate. This area will receive very little light during the day but need to grow quite large to hide a fence and cr...
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.