En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Hanging flowering plants in part shade in Denton, TX

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

Thursday - September 18, 2008

From: Denton, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shade Tolerant
Title: Hanging flowering plants in part shade in Denton, TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I'd like to hang 4"-6" pots with flowering plants from north-facing eaves. That area gets an hour or so of late-morning/noon sun. Also, my apt. faces a large courtyard so the area is never in deep shade and I live in Denton, HOT summers, TX

ANSWER:

For openers, 4" to 6" pots are a little small for a flowering plant. You are most likely going to want something bigger so enough soil to accommodate roots and hold moisture can be used. The second problem is that one hour of sun is not going to be adequate for many flowering plants. If you go to our section on Recommended Species, select North Central Texas, and Narrow Your Search with "herb" under Habit, and less than 2 hours a day under Light Requirements, you get three suggestions:

Aquilegia canadensis (red columbine) - upright, 1 to 2 ft. tall

Lobelia cardinalis (cardinalflower) - 1 to 6 ft. tall

Rudbeckia hirta (blackeyed Susan) - 1 to 2 ft. tall, biennial, flowers the second year

So, we went hunting for other plants native to Texas that might work in such a space, but not necessarily flowering. We found these ferns that would hang gracefully over the edge of a hanging pot, but would definitely need more than a 6" diameter pot to flourish:

Adiantum capillus-veneris (common maidenhair) - 6" to 1 ft. high

Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern) - few inches to more than 3 ft.

Phegopteris hexagonoptera (broad beechfern) - 1 to 2 ft. long

And, finally, a couple of dark horses:

Dichondra argentea (silver ponysfoot) - really a ground cover, and does better with more sun, but could do well in a hanging basket

Phlox stolonifera (creeping phlox) - a mat-forming perennial, 6 to 10" tall, semi-evergreen foliage and lavender, blue or white flowers

It would seem you need to rethink your plans for that area. There are some native vines that can get along with low sun, but they certainly will not remain confined to a small pot. Under eaves and north-facing are factors that combine to shade a plant from the sunshine necessary. 


Aquilegia canadensis

Lobelia cardinalis

Rudbeckia hirta

Adiantum capillus-veneris

Onoclea sensibilis

Phegopteris hexagonoptera

Dichondra argentea

Phlox stolonifera

 

 

 

 

More Shade Tolerant Questions

Ground cover to control erosion in Montgomery County, Texas
February 24, 2014 - I am looking for some kind of ground cover to control erosion on a north facing slope in Montgomery County, Texas. The area gets very little direct sunlight. I need something that will establish quick...
view the full question and answer

Deer resistant plants for Pittsburgh PA
January 30, 2012 - What shrubs can I plant on a wet slope that gets partial sun that will help control erosion? They need to be something the deer won't eat! We have lots of deer.
view the full question and answer

Shade tree for El Paso, Texas
May 18, 2010 - hi there, I am looking to plant a shade tree in front of my house, about 10ft away from my house and about 6ft away from the sidewalk. I live in El Paso TX and I am afraid that the tree roots will int...
view the full question and answer

Edible plants in shade in Enville TN
June 15, 2009 - I have a flower bed against the back of my house with nothing in it. We moved into this house late last year and I was planning on planting some tomato plants there until I discovered it never gets an...
view the full question and answer

Shade-loving native plants for South Carolina
January 08, 2008 - I am looking to incorporate a native plants section in my backyard. Shade seems to be a limiting factor in some parts, especially where I would look to create a natural hedge bordering my neighbor's...
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.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center