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?


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

Wednesday - February 25, 2009

From: Peoria, AZ
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shade Tolerant
Title: Shrubs for shade in Peoria, Arizona
Answered by: Barbara Medford


My six-foot block wall is on the west side of my yard. There are two large shade trees in front of the wall. What kind of shrubs can I plant near this wall that only gets sun for about 2 hours in the morning?


It turns out there are a a number of shrubs native to Arizona that can survive on that much sun a day. We went to our Recommended Species section, clicked on Arizona on the map, and did NARROW YOUR SEARCH, selecting on "Shrub" under Habit, and "Shade" (less than 2 hours a day of sun) and "Part Shade" (2-6 hours a day of sun) under Light Requirements. Follow the plant links to the individual webpage on each plant to find out what height the shrub is expected to be, whether it is evergreen or deciduous and color and time for flowers. The shrubs you select should be planted as soon as possible, since the heat of Arizona will make it difficult for them to survive if they are planted later.


Acacia angustissima (prairie acacia)

Juniperus monosperma (oneseed juniper)

Larrea tridentata (creosote bush)

Mahonia haematocarpa (red barberry)

Simmondsia chinensis (jojoba)

Tecoma stans (yellow trumpetbush)

Sambucus nigra ssp. caerulea (blue elder)

Bouvardia ternifolia (firecrackerbush)

Acacia angustissima

Juniperus monosperma

Larrea tridentata

Mahonia haematocarpa

Simmondsia chinensis

Tecoma stans

Sambucus nigra ssp. caerulea

Bouvardia ternifolia




More Shade Tolerant Questions

South Austin Groundcovers for Oak Shade
March 29, 2013 - Hi! I live in S. Austin now but used to work at the Wildflower Center! My backyard is shady with several oak mots. Do you have any suggestions as to what if any ground cover will grow in all that sha...
view the full question and answer

Plants for shade
August 19, 2008 - I live in hot, humid Houston and the tree coverage of my yard is nearly 100 percent (so, little sunlight reaches the ground). Can you suggest a plant or two that would thrive in these conditions?
view the full question and answer

Plants for Shady Clay soil in Illinois
June 18, 2012 - Could you recommoned native plants for clay soil and shade near Chicago?
view the full question and answer

Ground cover under Juniper for San Antonio
September 14, 2012 - I have a shaded area under juniper in the Hill Country of Texas that has many sprouts from the tree. We have to weed whack it to keep them under control. What ground cover could I use to enhance tha...
view the full question and answer

Sedges and ornamentals for shade in Bastrop County
June 20, 2007 - I bought a home in Elgin, TX that was owned by an elderly woman. Most of the lawn is shaded by elm or pecan trees. In the sunny areas, i got native wildflowers to grow like lantana and coneflower,...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center