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?


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

Wednesday - January 28, 2009

From: Scottsdale, AZ
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shade Tolerant
Title: Evergreen plants for shaded fence in Arizona
Answered by: Nan Hampton


I need to place a fence around my front yard (4-5 ft tall), in Arizona. What evergreen flower/plant can you recommend that would grow on this fence? (it would only get about 2-4 hours of sun daily and has very poor soil, but can be watered)


Mr. Smarty Plants has been able to find quite a few candidates for evergreen plants (mostly shrubs) that will grow along your fence in part shade (2 to 6 hours sun per day):

Bouvardia ternifolia (firecrackerbush)

Ceanothus fendleri (Fendler's ceanothus)  and here are photos from Southwest Colorado Wildflowers.

Chamaebatiaria millefolium (desert sweet) is semi-evergreen and here are photos from Utah State University

and CalPhotos.

Fallugia paradoxa (Apache plume) is another semi-evergreen plant. 

Fouquieria splendens (ocotillo)

Fremontodendron californicum (California flannelbush) and here are photos and information from Virginia Tech.

Larrea tridentata (creosote bush)

Mahonia haematocarpa (red barberry) with information and photos from Virginia Tech.

Mahonia repens (creeping barberry)

Nolina microcarpa (sacahuista) with more information from the University of Arizona Pima County Cooperative Extension.

Simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) and more photos and information from University of Arizona Pima County Cooperative Extension.

As far as I can discover, there are no evergreen vines native to Arizona.  You can see the vines that are native there by doing a COMBINATION SEARCH on our Native Plant Database and selecting 'Arizona' from the "Select State or Province" category and 'Vine' from the "Habit (general appearance)" category.

Bouvardia ternifolia

Fallugia paradoxa

Fouquieria splendens

Fremontodendron californicum

Larrea tridentata

Mahonia haematocarpa

Nolina microcarpa

Simmondsia chinensis







More Shade Tolerant Questions

Saving or transplanting stand of white trillium that has lost shade
May 29, 2006 - We have a generous stand of white trillium that has been under the shade of a white oak for many years. Now the 100+ year old oak has died and the trilliums are in the sun. Are we in danger of losin...
view the full question and answer

Privacy shrub in part shade to shade in Austin
April 29, 2010 - Barbara Medford's July 1, 2008 reply regarding Little Emperor Japanese Blueberry Tree is exactly my experience with cherry laurel in partial sun/shaded area in Austin, Texas. For 6 - 8' height si...
view the full question and answer

Will Thunder Turf do well in shade from Iola TX
June 23, 2010 - Will the Thunder Turf do well in shady areas or is there a better blend of native grasses that would thrive better?
view the full question and answer

Trees for shade east windows from sun in Abilene, TX
October 25, 2008 - We need a tree(s) to plant in front of four east windows (20 feet space) to shade our breakfast room from the early morning sun. We have shades but need a bit more protection. I do not wish to shade...
view the full question and answer

Salt-tolerant groundcover for shade with no water supply
September 11, 2013 - We have a home in Neptune Beach (Jacksonville) Florida (NE Florida). We have a large area outside our ground floor master bedroom that is completely covered (there is a large solid deck above it). ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center