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 - August 19, 2008

From: Houston, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shade Tolerant
Title: Plants for shade
Answered by: Nan Hampton


I live in hot, humid Houston and the tree coverage of my yard is nearly 100 percent (so, little sunlight reaches the ground). Can you suggest a plant or two that would thrive in these conditions?


You can find a list of East Texas Recommended plants, native plants that are commercially available for landscaping in East Texas, by choosing the East Texas section of the map on our Recommended Species page. From that list of over 130 species, you can narrow your search to plants that do well in the shade. First, select the Narrow Your Search option at the top of the list, then under Light Requirement select 'Shade - Less than 2 hours of sun per day'. There are more than 30 plants—trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants—that fit these requirements. Here are a few that Mr. SP particularly likes:

Chasmanthium latifolium (Inland sea oats)

Cornus florida (flowering dogwood)

Hydrangea quercifolia (oakleaf hydrangea)

Iris brevicaulis (zigzag iris)

Lobelia cardinalis (cardinalflower)

Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)

Phlox divaricata (wild blue phlox)

Salvia coccinea (blood sage)

Chasmanthium latifolium

Cornus florida

Hydrangea quercifolia

Iris brevicaulis

Lobelia cardinalis

Parthenocissus quinquefolia

Phlox divaricata

Salvia coccinea



More Shade Tolerant Questions

Deer resistant, drought- and shade-tolerant plant for Pennsylvania
August 14, 2012 - Hello, I need a deer/drought resistant, shade tolerant, rocky soil perennial. I would like it to have some winter appeal. I live outside of Philadelphia, PA. Thank you so much for your time...
view the full question and answer

Small evergreen native shrubs for apartment garden in shade in St. Louis
November 25, 2005 - I live in an apartment in St. Louis, MO, and have a small patch of rocky soil in the stairwell that I would like to plant with a native or natives. The area is entirely shaded, but all the natives I...
view the full question and answer

Pros and cons of Hydrocotyl bonariensis as lawn replacement
March 22, 2008 - Want to convert lawn TO dollar weed! My Garland TX yard has become so shady over the years that I have a hard time with grass. A few years ago I noticed dollar weed in the grass which seemed to cre...
view the full question and answer

Replacement for grass under non-native weeping willow from Yorba Linda CA
April 24, 2012 - What would be a good replacement for the grass currently growing under a weeping willow? Something requiring low maintenance, the problem is with mowing over and around the roots.
view the full question and answer

Flowering plants for shade in St. Augustine FL
May 25, 2009 - I would like to know what flowering plants I can purchase that grow in a shaded area in St Augustine Florida
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