Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Friday - May 23, 2008

From: Reston, VA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Shade Tolerant
Title: Native plants for dry shade in Virginia
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I live in Reston, Virginia and have dry shade. What are the best plants to use for my garden. Xeriscaping and native plants are important considerations.

ANSWER:

You can find a list of commerically available native plant species suitable for planned landscapes in Virginia by visiting our Recommended Species page and choosing Virginia from the map there. Once this list of over 120 species appears, you can use the "Narrow Your Search" option to find plants that will grow in dry shade by making these selections under "Light requirement" and "Soil moisture". This will give you a list of 27 species. Here are examples from that list:

Shrubs

Ceanothus americanus (New Jersey tea)

Hypericum prolificum (shrubby St. Johnswort)

Lindera benzoin (northern spicebush)

Symphoricarpos orbiculatus (coralberry)

Herbs

Aquilegia canadensis (red columbine)

Coreopsis lanceolata (lanceleaf tickseed)

Lupinus perennis (sundial lupine)

Rudbeckia hirta (blackeyed Susan)

If part of your area receives more than 2 hours of sunlight a day, you can change your selection choices and almost double the number of species that fit your criteria.


Ceanothus americanus

Hypericum prolificum

Lindera benzoin

Symphoricarpos orbiculatus

Aquilegia canadensis

Coreopsis lanceolata

Lupinus perennis

Rudbeckia hirta

 

 

 

More Shade Tolerant Questions

Native shade plants for sandy soil in New York
April 30, 2008 - 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...
view the full question and answer

Plants to grow in shady area near a pecan tree in Maryland
March 26, 2013 - I live on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. I have planted only natives in my front lawn. My backyard, which sports a pecan tree, fir, fig tree, and others I can't identify is dirt, just dirt. I have...
view the full question and answer

Grass for sunny or shady slope in Birmingham AL
June 16, 2011 - What kind of grass grows well in the shade or sun on a sloping landscape?
view the full question and answer

Foundation garden in shade in Durham, NC
April 29, 2009 - I'm trying to replant a 3'x8' garden near the foundation of our house in Durham, NC. This part of the yard gets little, if any, sun and is mostly clay. I've tried adding compost and soil conditi...
view the full question and answer

Native grass for sandy soil and shade
May 27, 2011 - We have a sandy soil and lots of shade. Is there a native grass that would do well under these conditions?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.