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?

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

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
3 ratings

Saturday - February 07, 2009

From: Dunn, NC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Shade Tolerant
Title: Native plants for part shade in North Carolina
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I'm thinking about planting a border in front of my house. It's on the north side, so it's fairly shady. One of the main problems with this is that I don't like many common shade plants, so it's hard to find anything good. I haven't firmly decided on a color scheme, but I'm leaning toward blue and yellow. Are there any shade flowers in an indigo color? Actually, are there any shade flowers in any bright color? Color is good! Oh, and low- to no-maintenance would be a plus.

ANSWER:

We went into our Recommended Species section, clicked on North Carolina on the map, did NARROW YOUR SEARCH, selecting on "Herbs" (flowering herbaceous plants), part shade (2 to 6 hours of sun a day), and shade (less than 2 hours of sun a day) and got a list of 31 plants that fulfilled those requirements. From those, we selected several that satisfied your color preferences, but threw in some other tints of pink and red, just for variety. You can follow the same procedure and make your own selections. Follow the plant links to our webpage on each plant to find out more about propagation, height, etc.

The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center recommends only plants native not just to North America but to the area in which they grow naturally. Native plants already habituated to a climate and rainfall will require less fertilizer, water and maintenance. These plants are all commercially available, and if you have difficulty locating them, go to our Native Plant Supplier section, type in your town and state in the "Enter Search Location" box and you will get a list of native plant nurseries, seed companies and landscape and environmental consultants in your general area. All have contact information so you can check availability before you go shopping.

SHADE TOLERANT PLANTS FOR NORTH CAROLINA

Achillea millefolium (common yarrow) - perennial, blooms white, pink April to September

Amsonia tabernaemontana (eastern bluestar) - perennial, blooms blue, purple March to May

Conoclinium coelestinum (blue mistflower) - perennial, blooms blue, purple July to November

Coreopsis lanceolata (lanceleaf tickseed) - perennial, blooms yellow April to June

Echinacea purpurea (eastern purple coneflower) - perennial, blooms pink, purple April to September

Gaillardia pulchella (firewheel) - annual, blooms red, yellow, brown May to August

Lobelia cardinalis (cardinalflower) - perennial, blooms red May to October

Lobelia siphilitica (great blue lobelia) - perennial, blooms blue July to October

Lupinus perennis (sundial lupine) - perennial, blooms May and June

Mertensia virginica (Virginia bluebells) - perennial, blooms pink, blue, purple March to June

Monarda fistulosa (wild bergamot) - perennial, blooms white, pink, purple May to September

Phlox divaricata (wild blue phlox) - perennial, blooms white, red, pink, purple March to May


Achillea millefolium

Amsonia tabernaemontana

Conoclinium coelestinum

Coreopsis lanceolata

Echinacea purpurea

Gaillardia pulchella

Lobelia cardinalis

Lobelia siphilitica

Lupinus perennis

Mertensia virginica

Monarda fistulosa

Phlox divaricata

 

 

More Shade Tolerant Questions

Arborvitae thinning in Bucks County, PA
April 09, 2010 - My arborvitae trees are about 11 ft. tall. I had them put in about 3 years ago. They were 8 to 10 ft. when planted. After the first year, I have noticed they are thinning to the point where you can se...
view the full question and answer

Native shade plants around fountain in California
March 18, 2009 - Hi, we just put a fountain in our front yard. It is in a mostly shady area. I need to know what plants would go best around the fountain and survive in the shade.
view the full question and answer

Shady Perennial Groundcover Suggestions for Indiana
April 21, 2013 - Could you please recommend perennial groundcovers for Indiana that are low and leafy, self-spreading, non-invasive, deer resistant, and moisture tolerant; and that are good for erosion control on a sh...
view the full question and answer

North-central Texas shrubs for part-shade
March 30, 2011 - I need a shrub that will be OK in shade (2-3 hrs a day max.), in fairly well-drained soil, will grow to around 8 ft. tall and 4-6 wide, for the region between Denton and Gainesville. If it flowers, al...
view the full question and answer

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

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center