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 - June 06, 2008

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shrubs
Title: Native sun shrubs and perennials to replace St. Augustine
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Hi, I live in Austin and I'm removing the St. Augustine from the southwest side of our house. This area gets intense sun all afternoon, and I'd really like to use a combination of native shrubs and perennials there. Any suggestions? Thanks!

ANSWER:

Hooray for you, disposing of the non-native, water-gulping St. Augustine. And of course you want native shrubs and perennials to replace it, because natives are adapted to where they are, with less need for water, fertilization and maintenance. We are going to go to the Recommended Species section of our website, select Central Texas on the map, and then Narrow Your Search, first, for state-Texas, habit-herb (herbaceous perennials), duration-perennial, light requirement-6 or more hours of sun a day, and dry for soil moisture. After that, we'll make the same selections, except substitute shrub for habit, and, finally, substituting grasses for habit. You can do the same thing, making your own choices based on personal preferences and we'll select some of our favorites to suggest to you. Be sure and read all the webpages that our links take you to, in order to have as much information for selection as possible. All the plants in our Recommended Species lists are commercially available. Then, when you're ready to shop, go to Suppliers on our website, type in the name of your town and state in the Enter Search Location box and you will get native plant nurseries, seed companies and landscape professionals in your general area, most of them with websites or phone numbers so you can find out if they have what you want.

HERBACEOUS PERENNIALS

Asclepias tuberosa (butterfly milkweed) - attracts butterflies, blooms yellow, orange May to September

Callirhoe involucrata (purple poppymallow) - blooms white, pink, purple March to June

Echinacea purpurea (eastern purple coneflower) - blooms pink, purple April to September

Wedelia texana (hairy wedelia) - blooms orange, yellow May to November

SHRUBS

Chrysactinia mexicana (damianita) - blooms yellow, April to September

Eysenhardtia texana (Texas kidneywood) - blooms white May to October

Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii (wax mallow) - attracts hummingbirds, blooms red May to November.

Salvia greggii (autumn sage) - attracts hummingbirds, blooms white, red, pink March to May

GRASSES

Andropogon glomeratus (bushy bluestem) - 2-5 ft tall, striking in winter

Bouteloua curtipendula (sideoats grama) - 2-3 ft tall, blooms red, yellow June to November

Panicum virgatum (switchgrass) - 3-6 ft tall, blooms green, brown August to October

Sorghastrum nutans (Indiangrass) - 3 -8 ft tall, blooms yellow August to October


Asclepias tuberosa

Callirhoe involucrata

Echinacea purpurea

Wedelia texana

Chrysactinia mexicana

Eysenhardtia texana

Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii

Salvia greggii

Andropogon glomeratus

Bouteloua curtipendula

Panicum virgatum

Sorghastrum nutans

 

 

 

More Shrubs Questions

Are Chickasaw plums evergreen?
August 13, 2014 - Are Chickasaw Plums evergreens? I've been very interested in planting a few but some websites say they are evergreens while others say the opposite. Furthermore, would I have to plant a male and fema...
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

Ligustrums planted last summer are doing poorly in Houston, TX.
March 06, 2012 - I planted large mature ligustrums trees (~ 8 ft) last summer and the leaves are turning yellow and falling off. Can you please tell me what the cause of this might be and what we can do to prevent th...
view the full question and answer

Repotting of lemon cypress for drainage
October 26, 2008 - Hi, I bought a lemon cypress tree in a nice tin, It is in Plastic and the bottom has about 1.5" of water with no drainage in the plastic or tin. It will be kept inside. Does the plant need to be in...
view the full question and answer

Need shrubs to plant alongside a swimming pool in Tampa, FL.
September 05, 2011 - I Have a 3 1/2 foot gap between my pool screen and back fence. This gap runs about 30 ft. long. I would like to place small trees to look beautiful and to grow 6-8 ft. high to screen out my neighbor...
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center