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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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Friday - March 21, 2008

From: cedar hill, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shrubs
Title: Evergreen native shrubs for poor drainage area in Cedar Hill, TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Hi! I have one (big!) bed in on the front of my house. Due to the way the house/motorcourt is built, that area (when it rains as much as it did last year!) doesn't drain well. I now have to replace some of my 'back ground' bedding plants. I am looking for something that grows 6-8 feet, and is evergreen. That part of the bed is in shade in the morning, but receives afternoon sun (not direct sun, however). It would also be good if it didn't require much water, as we are trying (very hard) to limit watering (for ecological reasons). All other plants (that survived) are native Texas plants. Bonus points if it has some time of color (berries, flowers, or changing leaves). I hope I haven't asked for too much!

ANSWER:

Generally, if you want something to grow that tall, you're talking shrub, not flowering plant. However, we tried to select shrubs that do have flowers or berries or Fall color. In addition, there are several choices of flowering plants that grow up to pretty good heights, but may not be evergreen. You have eight selections here, so that you can elect to plant a solid line of just one of them, intersperse them for year-round color, or differences in height and texture. These were selected, using our Plant Database, as being found in Texas, shrub in habit, perennial in duration, doing well in 2 to 6 hours of sun a day, and dry soil, so you don't have to water as much. You can use the same Plant Database and possibly find other selections you prefer. Be sure and read the webpage about each one to make sure it fits your requirements, and that you can find it and grow it in North Central Texas. Finally, go to this list of Native Plant Suppliers in Texas, and find some convenient for you. Since you live in Cedar Hill, you are probably already aware of King's Creek Gardens. They might have other native plant suggestions that will work particularly well in your area.

Erythrina herbacea (redcardinal)

Hypericum prolificum (shrubby St. Johnswort)

Leucophyllum frutescens (Texas barometer bush)

Lindera benzoin (northern spicebush)

Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii (wax mallow)

Nolina lindheimeriana (devil's shoestring)

Pavonia lasiopetala (Texas swampmallow)

Rhus glabra (smooth sumac)


Erythrina herbacea

Hypericum prolificum

Leucophyllum frutescens

Lindera benzoin

Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii

Nolina lindheimeriana

Pavonia lasiopetala

Rhus glabra
 

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