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

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

Fast-growing evergreen shade shrub for Lincoln NH
September 14, 2009 - I need a fast-growing, shade loving evergreen shrub that will give us privacy and grow in and around some White Pines whose branches were pruned to 4 - 6 ft above the ground. The house is in Lincoln ...
view the full question and answer

Spring blooming plants for spring sun and summer shade
July 03, 2007 - I live in San Antonio. I'm faced with a dilemma. I've got mature native pecans. In the summer they provide beautiful full shade. However, in the winter and even into the late spring, my yard is ...
view the full question and answer

Shade loving plants with color for Irving, Texas
July 01, 2010 - Looking for shade loving perennials or annuals with color - native and low water. Live in Irving, Texas.
view the full question and answer

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

Understory Shrubs for Pennsylvania Clay
December 04, 2013 - I want to replace three non-native Euonymus alatus with native shrubs that will serve as host plants for butterfly/moth species and/or attract bumblebees and other native bees. The shrubs I have are ...
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