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
1 rating

Sunday - September 14, 2008

From: Plum Grove, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shade Tolerant
Title: Plants for shade in Texas
Answered by: Nan Hampton


I am looking for shade tolerant shrubs to plant near our carport. We live in Plum Grove, near Splendora, Texas. I don't want anything with thorns that will scratch the paint or me while getting in and out of the car. We have a lot of shade but need something to soften the hardscape.


You can search for plants yourself by choosing the East Texas section of the map on our Recommended Species page.  This will give you a list of more than 130 native species that are commercially available for landscaping in East Texas.  You can then pick the Narrow Your Search option and choose 'Shade - Less than 2 hours of sun per day' and/or 'Part shade - 2-6 hours of sun per day' from the Light requirement option.  You can also choose 'Shrub' from the Habit (general appearance) option.  Here are a few recommendations from the 'Shade - ...' option.  If you have more than 2 hours of sun per day ('Part shade' option), there are many more recommended species to choose from.

Ceanothus americanus (New Jersey tea)

Hydrangea quercifolia (oakleaf hydrangea)

Rhus glabra (smooth sumac)

Rhododendron oblongifolium (Texas azalea)

Ceanothus americanus

Hydrangea quercifolia

Rhus glabra

Rhododendron oblongifolium



More Shade Tolerant Questions

Shade-loving plants for a long, narrow bed.
October 31, 2007 - We are installing a bed with a student-made sculpture dedicated to mothers at our high school in Austin, Texas. The bed is against the two-story school, east facing,and shaded by cedar elm. What can...
view the full question and answer

Grasses for shady area with sandy soil
September 23, 2008 - We have very sandy soil, is there any type of grass that will grow well. Also, very shady.
view the full question and answer

Competition between Horseherb and Chickweed
July 04, 2014 - Ok, sorry I did it wrong the 1st time!? I live in Houston, and I have chickens! I also have mass amounts of Horseherb, and I want to buy some chickweed seeds and plant it for my chickens! My question ...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen, deer resistant privacy screen for Villanova PA
March 29, 2013 - Looking for something that is deer resistant and ideally evergreen to block a shed and fence that my neighbor recently installed. Live in Eastern PA. Not the best drainage and also shade for most of...
view the full question and answer

Suggestion for plants to replace grass in semi-shade in NY
February 01, 2008 - I have an area that is in semi-shade but gets about 4-5 hours of sunlight in the summer. Instead of grass I would like to perhaps use wild flowers or even prairie type grasses. Any suggestions??
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center