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
4 ratings

Wednesday - April 30, 2008

From: Halfmoon, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Shade Tolerant
Title: Native shade plants for sandy soil in New York
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have a small patch (about 10 feet x 6 feet) of shady ground next to my house. The soil is very sandy. I really would like some perennial color - or at this point, anything actually - that will grow well in this area (zone 5). I would prefer native species, but will take whatever I can get! Thank you!

ANSWER:

We're glad you want native species, because that's all we at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center recommend. We have a Recommended Species section of our website, from which we have first selected New York, and then herbaceous perennials for 2 or less hours of sun a day. This gave us a list of 27 plants, from which we are going to try to find several that are colorful and will do well in sandy soil. Just in case you need some more variety in height, we also searched for shrubs with the same characteristics. There were 8 recommended, of which only one was evergreen, but that's probably what you expect in Zone 5. From these two lists, we are going to select several of each that will grow in sandy soil and tolerate that much shade. All of them would probably bloom more if there was more than 2 hours of sun a day; our definition of "part shade" is 2 to 6 hours a day. When you're ready to start planting, here is a list of Native Plant Suppliers in your general area.

HERBACEOUS PERENNIALS

Anemone canadensis (Canadian anemone) - white blooms, April to June

Campanula rotundifolia (bluebell bellflower - blue, purple blooms June to September

Coreopsis lanceolata (lanceleaf tickseed) - yellow blooms April to June

Lobelia cardinalis (cardinalflower) - red blooms May to October

Lobelia siphilitica (great blue lobelia) - blue blooms July to October

Lupinus perennis (sundial lupine) - blue, purple blooms May to June

Monarda didyma (scarlet beebalm) - red blooms July and August

Rudbeckia laciniata (cutleaf coneflower) - yellow July to October

SHRUBS

Gaultheria procumbens (eastern teaberry) - evergreen, white, pink blooms June to August

Hypericum prolificum (shrubby St. Johnswort) - yellow blooms June to August

Vaccinium angustifolium (lowbush blueberry) - white blooms May, June

Cornus alternifolia (alternateleaf dogwood) - white blooms May, June


Anemone canadensis

Campanula rotundifolia

Coreopsis lanceolata

Lobelia cardinalis

Lobelia siphilitica

Lupinus perennis

Monarda didyma

Rudbeckia laciniata

Gaultheria procumbens

Hypericum prolificum

Vaccinium angustifolium

Cornus alternifolia

 

 

 

More Shade Tolerant Questions

Need plants to shade on a west-facing wall in Houston, TX
April 28, 2010 - What plants are best to provide shade on a west facing wall in Houston. I am looking for plants that help to cool the house.
view the full question and answer

Plants for a Septic Field in NC
August 14, 2013 - What kinds of low water plants can I plant over a new septic field in North Carolina? The area is part sun so I am concerned about having trouble getting grass started.
view the full question and answer

Need plants with red flowers to grow in shaded area in yard in Austin.
May 04, 2010 - I have a shaded area where all the shrubs die. I would like to plant some flowers there instead of shrubs. What red flower plants can sustain a lot of shade.
view the full question and answer

Groundcover for shade in Paris, Texas
November 02, 2009 - I have a south exposure with 2 large sycamore trees. Noon sun in patches and mainly dappled shade but not dense. I'm consideering planting asian ivy. The soil is "sandy loam" but it's very sand...
view the full question and answer

Shade-loving Grass for the Houston area
February 09, 2011 - I have an ash tree that completely shades the majority of our front yard and is not allowing the St. Augustine grass to grow. Is there a shade-loving grass good for the Houston area?
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