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

Thursday - July 03, 2008

From: Williamstown, NJ
Region: Northeast
Topic: Drought Tolerant
Title: Drought tolerant plants for NJ backyard
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I am in the process of planning a drought tolerant, sun loving Back yard. I do have a dog, a swimming pool and lots of grandchildren. Do you have any suggestions for plants and shrubs? I live in Southern NJ. My yard is almost all full sun morning to night.

ANSWER:

You can see a list of New Jersey Recommended Species that are commercially available and suitable for landscaping and read about their moisture requirements. You can also do a Combination Search in our Native Plant Database for plants native to New Jersey that would meet your criteria by choosing 'New Jersey' from Select State or Province and then 'Sun' from Light requirement and 'Dry' from Soil moisture. You can also select other criteria as search options. Here are a few (all of which should be safe for children and dogs) that I selected from those lists:

Campsis radicans (trumpet creeper) a vine with attractive red flowers that is fairly drought tolerant.

Gaylussacia baccata (black huckleberry) requires little water, but will tolerate dry, moist or wet soils.

Rhus copallinum (winged sumac) has beautiful fall foliage.

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (kinnikinnick) is a low, trailing evergreen plant that uses little water.

Carex pensylvanica (Pennsylvania sedge) is grass-like grows in dry to moist soils.

Monarda punctata (spotted beebalm) is very drought tolerant.

Physocarpus opulifolius (common ninebark) is a fast-growing, drought-tolerant shrub.

Portulaca pilosa (kiss me quick) uses little water and is low-growing.


Campsis radicans

Gaylussacia baccata

Rhus copallinum

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi

Carex pensylvanica

Monarda punctata

Physocarpus opulifolius

Portulaca pilosa

 

 

More Drought Tolerant Questions

Due to drought is pruning live oaks beneficial from Houston
December 07, 2011 - Would it be beneficial (presuming a continued spring drought) to prune live oak trees more severely than usual this winter? I'm thinking that it might help them to have less mass to support.
view the full question and answer

Narrow strip of groundcover from Sonora TX
April 29, 2013 - I have an area that is right under my patio about 12 feet by 1 ft. I'm looking for something to plant in there. It has afternoon sun, morning shade. I live in SW Texas so it is hot. but would like so...
view the full question and answer

Drought Resistant Privacy Screen for North Side of Austin Texas House
July 10, 2016 - We live in the densely populated Mueller development, where there's barely 3 feet from our home to the 6 foot high privacy fence between us and the house next door. Since the houses are 2 stories, we ...
view the full question and answer

Fast-growing drought-resistant hedge for California
September 03, 2013 - We're looking for a fast growing, drought resistant shrub that will grow in clay soil and can be used for a hedge around our property.
view the full question and answer

low-growing evergreen shrubs for thin soil
March 05, 2012 - Thanks to the winter freeze, we'll be starting fresh with the plants in the bed along the front of our house. The bed is about 13' long and faces the west, so it gets afternoon/ evening sun but no ...
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