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
2 ratings

Tuesday - May 06, 2008

From: Argyle, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Soils, Herbs/Forbs, Shrubs
Title: Plants for full sun and clay soil in NY
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

We live in upstate new york( zone 5) with full sun and clay soil. What flowers/flowering shrubs would be successful in this environment?

ANSWER:

There are two routes to an answer to your question. First, we can go to the Recommended Species page and pick New York. This will give you a list of commercially available native plants suitable for landscaping. You can then browse through the more than 100 species listed and learn about their growth requirements.

You can also go to the Native Plant Database and do a Combination Search choosing New York under "All states and provinces" and choosing "Sun - 6 or more hours of sun per day" under "Light requirement". This will give you nearly 800 plants to look through. You can check the soil type under "Growing Conditions" on each species page.

This will give you to opportunity to do your own choosing, but I will recommend a few favorites:

Shrubs/small trees

Amorpha fruticosa (desert false indigo)

Ceanothus americanus (New Jersey tea)

Lindera benzoin (northern spicebush)

Physocarpus opulifolius (common ninebark)

Prunus virginiana (chokecherry)

Rhus aromatica (fragrant sumac)

Shepherdia argentea (silver buffaloberry)

Herbaceous plants

Achillea millefolium (common yarrow)

Conoclinium coelestinum (blue mistflower)

Coreopsis lanceolata (lanceleaf tickseed)

Lobelia siphilitica (great blue lobelia)

Lobelia cardinalis (cardinalflower)

Monarda fistulosa (wild bergamot)

Rudbeckia hirta (blackeyed Susan)


Amorpha fruticosa

Ceanothus americanus

Lindera benzoin

Physocarpus opulifolius

Rhus aromatica

Shepherdia argentea

Prunus virginiana

Achillea millefolium

22

 


Conoclinium coelestinum

Coreopsis lanceolata

Lobelia siphilitica

Lobelia cardinalis

Monarda fistulosa

Rudbeckia hirta
 

More Shrubs Questions

Small native evergreen shrubs for North Carolina
May 17, 2007 - I live in zone 7 and need miniature shrub to go in flower bed situated in full sun. I love gardenias but afraid the intensity of the sun might be too much.
view the full question and answer

Why is cedar pollen so heavy this year?
January 08, 2011 - Dear Mr Smarty, Is this year a heavier than normal year for cedar pollen?? If so why?
view the full question and answer

Shrubs for planting under hollies in DC
April 01, 2011 - I would like shrub suggestions for planting under holly trees. I live in Washington, DC and have 2 very well-established large holly trees (2 story tall trees) in the front of our house, facing north...
view the full question and answer

Need suggestions for privacy hedge in Northern NJ.
May 01, 2012 - Hi, I'm looking for advice on what plant would make an excellent privacy hedge in Northern NJ (Bergen County). Ideally something low maintenance, about 5 feet tall, would act as a fence. Thanks...
view the full question and answer

Shrubs for fenceline in Houston
September 13, 2009 - I live in Houston, TX and would like your suggestion on what plants, trees or shrubs would work best to grow alongside a fence to hide a neighbor's backyard. We all have relatively small backyards.
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center