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

Tuesday - June 10, 2008

From: Abilene, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Container Gardens, Herbs/Forbs, Vines
Title: Native plants for hanging baskets in Abilene
Answered by: Nan Hampton


I live in the DRY West Texas heat in Abilene. I'd like to put some hanging plants along my back fence. Preferably something that would attract butterflies. We have a pool in our back yard and almost no landscaping due to the direct sunlight, and jippy water well sprinkler system. All we have been able manage is a beautiful green yard and a few trees. I really need some ideas on some REALLY hardy plants and flowers that can hold upto these conditions. And by the way we also have 3 mini schnauzers so the plants, trees,


These first four plants are tough plants that withstand the hot sun and bloom for a long period. You will have to water them occasionally, however, and provide them with enough soil so that they don't dry out too quickly.

Glandularia bipinnatifida var. bipinnatifida (Dakota mock vervain)

Lantana urticoides (West Indian shrubverbena)

Melampodium leucanthum (plains blackfoot)

Wedelia texana (hairy wedelia)

You might consider trying a vine in a hanging basket and letting it run along your fence. Here are 3 possibilities:

Clematis pitcheri (bluebill)

Lonicera albiflora (western white honeysuckle)

Lonicera sempervirens (trumpet honeysuckle)

You probably want to read Container Gardening with Native Plants on our How-to Articles web page since some of the information and suggestions in it will apply to what you are doing.

Glandularia bipinnatifida var. bipinnatifida

Lantana urticoides

Melampodium leucanthum

Wedelia texana

Clematis pitcheri

Lonicera albiflora

Lonicera sempervirens



More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Plants for pool area in Florida
May 09, 2008 - 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 growin...
view the full question and answer

Plants that will grow in clay in North Carolina
March 14, 2008 - I have a small fenced back yard, predominately hard red clay, that is a major focal point. I am designing my own garden/yard area (to cut cost) and have a list of plants that will grow in this soil w...
view the full question and answer

Retention pond from Hendersonville NC
April 24, 2012 - We have a retention pond that has recently been cleaned and we would like to plant perennial native plant and grass seeds that will enhance the appearance and contribute to the natural process of filt...
view the full question and answer

Erosion controlling plants for a shady Minnesota lakeside
August 11, 2015 - I live about 50 yards from a lake and there is a steep embankment. Recently someone decided to cut the trees off the embankment and now the dirt is eroding off the embankment as well as off my back ya...
view the full question and answer

Plants for a Austin thicket underlayer
July 25, 2014 - We live in Austin, west of 183. We are planning to put a thicket in our backyard, where there is no threat of deer. Anchoring the thicket are a clump of live oaks, a Texas persimmon, an Eve's Necklac...
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