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
1 rating

Thursday - February 12, 2009

From: Decatur, GA
Region: Southeast
Topic: Shade Tolerant, Shrubs
Title: Plants for a condo garden in Decatur GA
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

I recently moved into a condo in Decatur (just outside Atlanta). I am now working on the back yard - just a patio and dirt right now. It is a small space and is shaded much of the day but does get some early and late sun. I would like to plant some shrubs that might flower and would be at least 3 feet tall in the area with morning sun and plant something interesting in the very shady corner. I am wary of azaleas because of their toxicity to dogs. I like the idea of native plants in the hopes that they will be more drought resistant. Any suggestions?

ANSWER:

For the part sun area, Calycanthus floridus (eastern sweetshrub) might work for you. The flowers of this plant are visually interesting and have a very unusual, spicey fragrance. Other shrubs for that spot might be Fothergilla gardenii (dwarf witchalder), Fothergilla major (mountain witchalder), Illicium floridanum (Florida anisetree), Itea virginica (Virginia sweetspire), Morella cerifera (wax myrtle), and Spiraea tomentosa (steeplebush).

In the shady spot, Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry) is pretty in flower and eye-popping in fruit. Other possibilities are Diervilla lonicera (northern bush honeysuckle), Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii (wax mallow), Physocarpus opulifolius (common ninebark) and Viburnum dentatum (southern arrowwood).

 

More Shade Tolerant Questions

Wildflowers for a shady spot in IL
February 26, 2011 - I have a low-sun spot on the side of my house in Chicago, IL. I would really like to turn this spot into a wildflower garden. Could you suggest some native IL flowers that might work in this spot? ...
view the full question and answer

Plants for a shady front border in Ohio
April 28, 2010 - My front flower bed faces the North. For the past 2 yrs. I lost 5-6 perennials. What can I plant that will make it with little sun. I don't want hostas nor ferns, nor short ground covers. I want col...
view the full question and answer

Native Plants for Shaded North Slope in Ohio
January 03, 2013 - I have a shaded north hillside which needs erosion control plants. Mostly moss and very thin grass grows there now. Please help!
view the full question and answer

Is Phyla lanceolata (frogfruit) poisonous to dogs fromTitusville FL?
June 01, 2014 - Is Phyla lanceolata, also called Fogfruit, Lanceleaf Fogfruit, or Northern Fogfruit, toxic to dogs? We have it growing amongst our grass. I can't find it on any toxic plant list.
view the full question and answer

Native wildflowers for shade in Boone NC
July 05, 2011 - I have a totally shaded area with tall trees and want to plant some native shade wildflowers beneath the trees. It is fairly level. I'd like perennial flowers. I noticed Flaming Azalea was one opti...
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