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?

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
    
 
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
5 ratings

Tuesday - February 10, 2009

From: Severn, MD
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Shrubs
Title: Native shrub to replace non-native azaleas.
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

I want to replace my two dozen azaleas this spring (I think they're unattractive once the flowers fall off). I like the multiseason characteristics of weigela (midnight wine, W&R), but want to go native. Can you suggest a native alternative to these compact oriental beauties?

ANSWER:

Among the most difficult requests we receive are those for landscape plant recommendations..  Some of the issues to consider when choosing a new plant for your landscape are how the landscape will is used, how the plant will fit with other plants and features in the landscape, ultimate size of the new plant, soil, water, nutrition and maintenance needs of the plant, potential insect, disease, and pets and children poisoning problems, and, of course, personal aesthetic considerations.  Unfortunately, we cannot answer many of those questions; only you, the owner can do that.  However, we can make some suggestions for some plants that might work for you.  Here is a list of selected Maryland native plant species.  One or more of these plants might work for you as a replacement for your azaleas.

Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry),

Calycanthus floridus (eastern sweetshrub),

Ceanothus americanus (New Jersey tea),

Clethra alnifolia (coastal sweetpepperbush),

Diervilla lonicera (northern bush honeysuckle),

Eubotrys racemosa (swamp doghobble),

Hypericum prolificum (shrubby St. Johnswort)

Ilex glabra (inkberry)

Itea virginica (Virginia sweetspire),

Paxistima canbyi (Canby's mountain-lover),

Physocarpus opulifolius (common ninebark),

Rhododendron arborescens (smooth azalea),

Rhododendron calendulaceum (flame azalea),

Rhododendron prinophyllum (early azalea),

Rhododendron viscosum (swamp azalea),

Spiraea alba (white meadowsweet),

Spiraea betulifolia (white spirea),

Spiraea tomentosa (steeplebush),

Symphoricarpos albus (common snowberry),

Symphoricarpos orbiculatus (coralberry),

Vaccinium angustifolium (lowbush blueberry)

 


Callicarpa americana

Calycanthus floridus

Ceanothus americanus

 


Clethra alnifolia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Diervilla lonicera

Eubotrys racemosa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Hypericum prolificum

 


Ilex glabra

Itea virginica

Paxistima canbyi

Physocarpus opulifolius

Rhododendron arborescens

Rhododendron calendulaceum

Rhododendron prinophyllum

Rhododendron periclymenoides

Spiraea alba

Spiraea tomentosa

Symphoricarpos albus

Symphoricarpos orbiculatus

Vaccinium angustifolium
 

 

 

 

More Shrubs Questions

Propagation of blackberry from Williamsport PA
January 18, 2014 - I have been told that if you cut a branch off of a black berry bush and stick it in water for a few days, and then put it in the ground it will grow into another bush. Please tell me if this is true a...
view the full question and answer

Revegetation with Rosa Woodsii in Heber UT
July 26, 2013 - I am using Woods Roses for a revegetation project (to stop trail short cutting) in a public picnic area. Growing them from seed was too slow so I am experimenting with transplanting and it is working ...
view the full question and answer

Salt tolerant plants for Long Beach
May 12, 2013 - When Hurricane Sandy hit Long Beach, it has killed all my plants and now almost all of Long Beach is left with dead dried brown vegetation. I want to replant front with bushes and flowers. What woul...
view the full question and answer

Seven foot privacy fence in Tucson
November 25, 2014 - I am looking for a privacy hedge for a home in Tucson, Arizona that will be in full sun. Needs to be at least seven foot tall and low water and maintenance. Any suggestions.
view the full question and answer

Identification of shrub with purple flowers in Las Vegas, Nevada
July 13, 2011 - Large purple flower shrub, flowers are on long stems. Round flowers with green leaves on the stalks, used as front yard landscaping in a new house in Las Vegas NV. Very drought tolerant, shrub grows ...
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center