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
1 rating

Saturday - March 28, 2009

From: Dallas, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Container Gardens
Title: Container plants for Dallas, TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I need help with container plants that can endure being out in the full sun and don't need a lot of maintenance. I would prefer something that is about 2-3' at its height and has a rounded shape. I was thinking of some type of ornamental grass or perhaps a Sego Palm. I would appreciate any advice.

ANSWER:

First, we're going to suggest you read our How-To Article Container Gardening with Native Plants. The reason it's just about native plants? Because the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is just about native plants, native not only to North America but to the area in which they are being grown. A plant growing in an area where it has been evolved for millennia is more adapted to the local climate, soil and rainfall, and will require less water, fertilizer and maintenance. The Cycas revoluta (Sago Palm) is native to China and Japan. 

We will go to our Recommended Species section, select North Central Texas on the map, and search first for herbs (herbaceous blooming plants), then shrubs and finally grasses, all under Habit. We will specify full sun under Light Requirements and perennial under Duration. You can repeat these steps with different characteristics and make your own selections. Follow the plant links to the page on the individual plant to find out its expected size, water requirements, color and time of blooms, etc. At the bottom of each of these pages is a link to Google for more information on the plant. After you have made some selections, you can go to our Native Plant Suppliers page, enter your town and state, and get a list of native plant nurseries, seed suppliers and landscape and environment consultants in your general area. They all have contact information, so you can find out if the plant you are interested in is available before you go shopping. 

Herbaceous flowering plants for North Central Texas

Asclepias tuberosa (butterfly milkweed)

Conoclinium coelestinum (blue mistflower)

Echinacea purpurea (eastern purple coneflower)

Engelmannia peristenia (Engelmann's daisy)

Lobelia cardinalis (cardinalflower)

Melampodium leucanthum (plains blackfoot)

Wedelia texana (hairy wedelia)

Shrubs for North Central Texas

Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. wrightii (Wright's desert honeysuckle)

Salvia greggii (autumn sage)

Hesperaloe parviflora (redflower false yucca)

Grasses for North Central Texas

Bouteloua curtipendula (sideoats grama)

Muhlenbergia lindheimeri (Lindheimer's muhly)


Asclepias tuberosa

Conoclinium coelestinum

Echinacea purpurea

Engelmannia peristenia

Lobelia cardinalis

Wedelia texana

Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. wrightii

Salvia greggii

Hesperaloe parviflora

Bouteloua curtipendula

Muhlenbergia lindheimeri

 

 

 

More Container Gardens Questions

Container plants for Bucks County, PA
February 18, 2009 - I live in Bucks County, PA and I would like to have a garden, but do not have a green thumb. Which plants come back each year that survive in large pots. Are daisies also a good choice for my garden...
view the full question and answer

Plant that can move from outside to inside for Denton, TX
December 14, 2008 - I am looking for a plant that is either native to Texas or is well acclimated to the Denton TX area that can move from a covered outside area to an adjacent indoor area behind large glass walls, to a ...
view the full question and answer

Growing Texas mountain laurel in a pot
March 07, 2016 - I have a really good friend who Mom pass away just recently and they were the best of friends. She loved her mother dearly and did tons of stuff together. Recently I posted a picture of a Mountain L...
view the full question and answer

Planter boxes on a roof deck in Boston MA
May 20, 2013 - What will grow in planter boxes on a roof deck in Boston ma? We are planning to make our own planters to sit on the framing "outside" our deck rail. We have 4 ft from the rail to the edge of the ho...
view the full question and answer

Container plants for deck in Maine
May 18, 2009 - I live on the ocean in Maine. Fourth floor deck. I want to plant containers and boxes with annuals that can withstand a lot of wind. We get mostly sun but some shade as well. Of course, there is the s...
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 | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center