En EspaŅol

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
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
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

Plants for a steep slope in New York
June 27, 2010 - We just installed a swimming pool in our back yard, which is at the top of a south facing slope. After the pool was installed the slope is now 3 ft higher and very steep (unmowable). I'd guess steepe...
view the full question and answer

Flowering Shrub for Houston, TX
April 24, 2014 - I live in Houston, Texas and would like to plant a flowering shrub 3-6 feet in height. It will get sun to part sun, 2-6 hours daily. I have had azaleas in this area and am now looking for something to...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen shrubs native to North Georgia
March 26, 2007 - I am looking for native plants (shrubs) that will stay green during the winter in North Georgia. We are completing a xeriscape landscape plan as a demonstration site and have many native plants donate...
view the full question and answer

Sages in Catasauqua, PA
August 08, 2014 - I want to buy a Texas Sage tree but I live in PA. Can I bring the tree indoors during winter?
view the full question and answer

Low Ground Cover for Steep, Shaded PA Site
February 17, 2014 - I am located in Downingtown, PA, right on the border between Zone 6 and 7. Please provide a recommendation of a native ground cover for the following conditions: steep slope (greater than 45%), full s...
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.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center