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

Comments on white-flowered Mountain Laurel from Austin
December 23, 2012 - Following up on the August 23, 2012, question from Driftwood about the white-flowering mountain laurel, I have found a few more leads to explore. First, there are four more images of white-flowering m...
view the full question and answer

Origin of name of hybrid Ilex x attenuata
December 11, 2010 - Could you please tell me where Eagleson, or also called Eagleston Holly got its name ?
view the full question and answer

Shrubs with sparse leaves and flowers for creek in Idaho
September 01, 2009 - I am looking for several shrubs that have spindly limbs and sparse leaves with flowers. The idea is to place them in front of windows or other views to add a lacey/veiled effect for the observer. I li...
view the full question and answer

Native shrub for north window in Austin, TX
March 23, 2008 - Hello. I am trying to find a native shrub to provide privacy next to a low north-facing window and protection from northerly winds in the winter. I would like to find a shrub with a maximum height o...
view the full question and answer

Erosion Control for Salem IN
September 02, 2014 - We've recently had a new pond dug. It is on a hill side and has some very steep and tall banks. We were advised that our best chance of keeping soil from eroding was to plant fescue. I'm not thrille...
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 | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center