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?


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

Friday - May 09, 2008

From: Winter Garden, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Container Gardens, Cacti and Succulents, Herbs/Forbs, Shrubs
Title: Plants for pool area in Florida
Answered by: Nan Hampton


My husband and I have a pool with 4 planters and are looking for plants that we can put into our screened in pool area. We live in Central Florida and looking for ideas of plants that are slow growing and small with not too much height. Can you please give us some ideas? Thank you


There are a couple of ways to find recommended plants for Florida. First, you can go to our Florida Recommended page on the Wildflower Center web site to find a list of native plants that are commercially available for landscaping in Florida. Most species have photos with the text. The second source for recommended plants for Florida is the Florida Native Plant Society. In the Florida Native Plant Society's "Natives to Grow in Orange County" list it gives the name, the form of the plant (shrub, tree, etc.) and its tolerance for wet and dry soils, tolerance for salt and usefulness for butterflies and wildlife. There are no photos accompanying this list, but you can find photos for most of the ones on the list by searching in our Native Plant Database under the scientific name.

Here are a few choices from the two lists:

Ceratiola ericoides (sand heath) is a small sub-shrub that resembles rosemary.

Phlox nivalis (trailing phlox)

Rhexia mariana (Maryland meadowbeauty)

Salvia coccinea (blood sage)

Amsonia ciliata (fringed bluestar)

Berlandiera subacaulis (Florida greeneyes)

Conoclinium coelestinum (blue mistflower)

Morella cerifera (wax myrtle). There are dwarf cultivars of this species.

Osmunda cinnamomea (cinnamon fern)

Phyla nodiflora (Texas frogfruit)

Rhapidophyllum hystrix (needle palm). Here is a photo and more information.

Rhynchospora colorata (starrush whitetop)

Woodwardia areolata (netted chainfern). Here is a photo and more information.

Yucca filamentosa (Adam's needle). Here is a photo and more information.

Ceratiola ericoides

Phlox nivalis

Rhexia mariana

Salvia coccinea

Amsonia ciliata

Berlandiera subacaulis

Conoclinium coelestinum

Morella cerifera

Osmunda cinnamomea

Phyla nodiflora

Rhynchospora colorata




More Shrubs Questions

Shrub to hide chain link fence
August 12, 2008 - Mr. Smarty Plants, Please recommend a tall, thick shrub to conceal the 6 foot chain link fence around the perimeter of our property. The fence is located down a hill from our home with western exposur...
view the full question and answer

Edible forest garden for northern Minnesota
March 07, 2014 - I am planning an edible forest garden for northern Minnesota. Can you suggest a list of plants that are native to this area. We are in zone 3a or 3b. Thank you!
view the full question and answer

Plant ID and pruning in Portage IN
April 09, 2009 - I'm looking for information on trimming a bush about 6 feet in diameter with orange horns in bloom and its name.
view the full question and answer

Information about blackleaf elderberry
July 03, 2008 - I was given a blackleaf elderberry. Do I plant this tree in shade or sun? Also, does it require a lot of moisture? Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Caterpillars attacking mountain laurel in Marble Falls TX
August 27, 2009 - What are the caterpillars that eat up our mountain laurel? Nothing left but a few stems.
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.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center