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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Thursday - November 29, 2007

From: Round Rock, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shade Tolerant
Title: Evergreen plants for shaded bed and removing bermuda grass.
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hi, Mr. Smarty Plants, I have two questions. First, the back of our house in Williamson County faces north. We have plant beds (about one foot wide and the length of the house) up against the back wall, and I would like some good evergreen plants to put in them. Since we don't have gutters, when it rains, the planters get substantial water. Varous colors and heights would be great. I already have Nandina in a couple of places and a Indian Hawthorne at one end. What else would be good in that kind of shady environment? Second, how do I get rid of the bermudagrass in the St. Augustine in my front lawn? Between that and some low-growing weed with tiny white flowers, I can't keep my lawn looking nice. Thanks for your help.

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants recommends the following native evergreen plants (mostly shrubs or small trees) that do well in part shade (2 hours or more of sunshine per day):

Ilex vomitoria (yaupon)

Leucophyllum frutescens (Texas barometer bush)

Lonicera sempervirens (trumpet honeysuckle)

Mahonia trifoliolata (agarita)

Morella cerifera (wax myrtle)

Nolina texana (Texas sacahuista)

Rhus virens (evergreen sumac)

Sophora secundiflora (Texas mountain-laurel)


The following are not evergreen, but do well in less than 2 hours of sun per day:

Aquilegia canadensis (red columbine)

Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii (wax mallow)

Salvia coccinea (blood sage)

Wedelia texana (hairy wedelia) This plant remains evergreen in mild winters or the southern part of its range.

 

Several sedges are evergreen and will grow in part shade:

Carex planostachys (cedar sedge)

Carex texensis (Texas sedge)

Carex cherokeensis (Cherokee sedge)

 

Now, for your "bermuda grass in the St. Augustine" question, someone asked us almost the identical question a couple of years ago and I refer you to the answer Mr. Smarty Plants gave for it.

 


Ilex vomitoria

Leucophyllum frutescens

Lonicera sempervirens

Mahonia trifoliolata

Morella cerifera

Nolina texana

Rhus virens

Sophora secundiflora

Aquilegia canadensis

Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii

Salvia coccinea

Wedelia texana

Carex texensis

Carex cherokeensis

 

 

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