Explore Plants

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
    
 

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
1 rating

Sunday - July 13, 2008

From: Odem, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Grasses or Grass-like, Herbs/Forbs, Shrubs
Title: Native plants that are dog-proof in South Texas
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I live in Odem, Texas and would like to use only native plants in my front and backyard. I have two puppies who love to dig. What plants should I use that require minimal attention from me and will not be destroyed by my animals?

ANSWER:

If you ever find some plants like that, we'd like to know what they are. The problem is that even sturdy, damage-resistant flowers or grasses or shrubs start out as little plants that need to be protected, watered and their roots left undisturbed. And, new plants are going to require more than minimal attention under any circumstances. Even grasses like buffalograss will tend to get weedy when they are newly planted, and certainly couldn't withstand puppy feet. We are going to suggest that you designate a portion of your yard to be puppyland, and a portion to be garden. If someone were going to be outside with the dogs all the time, and training them not to dig or chew on the plants, that might work. But if the yard is doggy domain, then just about anything but already-established shrubs and trees are going to be doomed. So, we're going to leave animal control to you, and suggest some native plants for your part of Texas. You can go to the individual webpage for each plant and find out if it suits your purposes. We don't know what sun exposure you will be dealing with, or how moist your soil is, so those are considerations when you look at the information. And you must also be sure that anything chosen for puppyland be non-toxic. Unless the dogs are constantly supervised, they are going to chew on things, and a number of popular garden plants are poisonous in all or some of their parts. We are going to go to Recommended Species, click on South Texas on the map, and select a few each of herbaceous perennials, shrubs and grasses that will work in that part of the state.

When you make some selections, you can go to Suppliers for a list of native plant suppliers. In the Enter Search Location box, type your town and state and you will get a list of seed companies, nurseries and landscape consultants in your general area.

HERBACEOUS PERENNIALS

Hibiscus martianus (heartleaf rosemallow) - 1 to 3' tall, depending on moisture, blooms all year in non-frost areas

Monarda fistulosa (wild bergamot) - 2 to 5' tall, sun to part shade, blooms May to September

Salvia farinacea (mealycup sage) - 2 to 3' tall, sun, blooms April to October

Wedelia texana (hairy wedelia) - 8" to 3' tall, sun to part shade

SHRUBS

Cordia boissieri (anacahuita) - shrub or small tree, blooms all year, sun to part shade

Ebenopsis ebano (Texas ebony) - 25' shrub or small tree, blooms June to August

Eysenhardtia texana (Texas kidneywood) - 6 ti 12' tall, blooms May to October, sun

Leucophyllum frutescens (Texas barometer bush) - 2 to ' tall, blooms all year, sun to part shade

GRASSES

Bouteloua dactyloides (buffalograss) - turf, can be mowed, sun to part shade

Nolina texana (Texas sacahuista) - 1 to 3' tall, part shade

VINES

Bignonia capreolata (crossvine) - sun to part shade

Lonicera sempervirens (trumpet honeysuckle) - sun to part shade

 

 

 

 

More Shrubs Questions

Exotic plant/shrubs for Marietta, GA.
April 01, 2010 - Hi. I live in Marietta GA. and i am looking to add some curb appeal to my front lawn (around the border of the house). I would like evergreen plants and shrubs. I love the tropical/exotic look. do you...
view the full question and answer

Non blooming Texas Mountain Laurel from Las Vegas NV
September 04, 2012 - Hi, I live in Las Vegas, Nevada and have a Texas Laurel and have had it for 2 years and still no purple flowers on it. Why won't it bloom ? Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Shrubs that non-toxic to horses but that they won't eat
October 29, 2011 - I am looking for a low maintenance, low water, green shrub that horses won't eat and will not be toxic to them. I want to hide my neighbors corral and keep down dust on my side. The horses have "l...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen shrubs for Michigan
June 17, 2008 - I'm seeking a small-medium, ornamental, fairly compact, evergreen shrub to complement my front yard woodland wildflower garden. I want a shrub that will flank both sides of my front porch steps. I wa...
view the full question and answer

Need a shade tree for an enclosed courtyard in Las Cruces, NM
September 24, 2012 - I HAVE A WEST FACING COURTYARD ENCLOSED WITH A 6' STUCCO WALL AND I WANT TO ADD A SHADE TREE. CURRENTLY HAVE SEVERAL MESQUITE TREES, DESERT WILLOW, CHINESE PISTACHE & VITEX TREES IN THE FRONT AREA ...
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.