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
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

Correct cultural conditions for liatris
April 15, 2008 - I recently bought some gayfeather (liatris pycnostachya) and planted in my yard in a nice full sun spot. Gets sun for roughly 10 hours a day. However, it's also the single driest spot in my yard (jus...
view the full question and answer

Groundcover for foot traffic in dry shade from Prineville OR
May 12, 2013 - I live in central Oregon. I have an area under a large elm tree that slopes on all sides and has lots of foot traffic and no sun. (my kids have a swing in the tree and play around it a lot.) It's a v...
view the full question and answer

Fast-growing shade tree for New Braunfels, Texas
January 29, 2009 - I would like to plant a tree in the back of my property which is located in the Hill Country just north of New Braunfels. Could you please suggest something that is fast growing and will grow in full...
view the full question and answer

Groundcovers for area under blue spruce in Colorado
August 10, 2012 - I have a 40 ft blue spruce limbed up 6 ft in my yard on the west in Greeley, CO (50 mi N Denver, zone 4 or 5). It gets some sun underneath in the later afternoon and evening. Can you suggest 4 to 5 ...
view the full question and answer

Plants for dry shade in West Virginia
April 22, 2010 - I live in Mannington, WV and I am wanting to do some landscaping. The area that I would like to plant in is very dry and gets little to no sunlight. I would like to plant something that will come back...
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