En Español

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

Monday - March 31, 2008

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shrubs
Title: Native shrubs that can be pruned to shape in Austin, TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

We have some shrubs in our NE facing front yard in Austin in the Steiner Ranch Area. The shrubs are native, and give good flowers in spring and summer, but are not trimmable and I want something like native holly that maintains a good shape. I'd like your opinion on some replacement shrubs that hug the foundation/front face of the house. How do I upload a pictur

ANSWER:

Finding a shrub native to Texas that takes trimming and/or shaping well is not all that easy. Most Texas plants are more nearly free spirits, sticking stems and thorns every which way. However, two of our favorites for foundation plants are Morella cerifera (wax myrtle) and Ilex vomitoria (yaupon). Both will grow well in Central Texas, and both grow fairly quickly and can be pruned for shape. They both ordinarily need more than 6 hours of sun a day, but can get by on a little less, which may be the case since you want them on the side of your house facing northeast.

It also looked like you were asking how to upload a picture. Go to the Mr. Smarty Plants page, and look in the lower right-hand corner for full instructions.


Morella cerifera

Morella cerifera

Ilex vomitoria

Ilex vomitoria

 

 

More Shrubs Questions

Moving a volunteer holly from Springfield IL
October 11, 2010 - When would be the very best time to move a volunteer holly? I would say it is 3 years old, it stands about 5 feet tall, shaped like a very nice tree and it keeps its leaves. Thank you. Karen
view the full question and answer

Small shrubs for flower bed in Denton, Texas
September 16, 2009 - I have a small flowerbed that faces south on the front of my house. What small shrubs would be best in that situation?
view the full question and answer

Problems with rhododendrons in Germany
July 07, 2008 - I am writing with questions about rhododendrons. I purchased four small rhododendron/azalea hybrids in April. Because I had to prepare the garden before planting them, I left them in the pots they cam...
view the full question and answer

Vines and shrubs for wildlife cover and food
December 14, 2007 - I own property in Stephens County about 10 miles north of Breckenridge, TX along the Clear Fork of the Brazos River. I have 45 acres that is open field and I want to provide cover and food for wildli...
view the full question and answer

Need suggestions for cold resistant, hardy hedge plant in Jonathan, NC.
June 28, 2011 - I'm looking for a Full sun, cold resistant, hardy, non-invasive plant to be used for a property line hedge for North Carolina. Preferably NOT slow growing. What can you suggest?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center