Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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
4 ratings

Friday - April 17, 2009

From: Coram, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Shrubs
Title: Evergreen native shrubs in Long Island, NY
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I would like to plant evergreen bushes (or trees)against my house facing north with no sun and growing no taller than 4 feet high. Any suggestions? I live in Coram, Long Island, New York

ANSWER:

Evergreen anything is something of a challenge in your USDA Hardiness Zone of 6a to 7b (-10 to +5 average annual minimum temperature). Finding something tolerant of no sun will be harder still. We are going to our Recommended Species Section, click on New York on the map, Narrow Your Search, and search first on shrubs and then on trees in Habit, with shade as the Light Requirement. We consider full sun to be 6 hours or more of sun a day, part shade 2 to 6 hours of sun, and shade less than 2 hours of sun. The only plant we found that comes close to your specifications is Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (kinnikinnick), which we love because of the common name. Anyway, it is evergreen, is a spreading shrub growing only 1 to 3 feet tall, and can tolerate sun, part shade or shade. A couple of trees that are evergreen and can tolerate shade are Juniperus virginiana (eastern redcedar), but it grows to 30 to 40 feet, and Thuja occidentalis (arborvitae), which under cultivation grows to no more than 30 feet. If you were to plant trees that big, they would need to be some distance from the house, so the roots would not interfere with foundations or basements. Perhaps you will need to make a different plan for that area of your property. 


Arctostaphylos uva-ursi

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi

Juniperus virginiana

Thuja occidentalis

 

 

 

More Shrubs Questions

Plants for near a salt water swimming pool
April 01, 2009 - I need some suggestions of plants that will grow next to a public salt water swimming pool, located in Bossier City, Louisiana
view the full question and answer

Need for smaller tree with less invasive roots from Ft. Worth TX
June 07, 2014 - The sycamore in the front yard has developed roots larger than the branches. They have decided that the water and sewer lines are perfect to acquire their water from. For this reason it will be coming...
view the full question and answer

Rust on Amelancier Foliage in PA
February 03, 2015 - I live in Pennsylvania and have been plagued with a rust on my serviceberry (Amelanchier canadensis) trees over the past few years. I am unable to find very much information on this disease on the we...
view the full question and answer

Native perennials for Ft. Worth TX
March 17, 2013 - Mr. Smarty Pants, I have two large planters around the back side of my saltwater pool where there is no decking. (sloped landscape) 8'long x 3' wide. I need low growing perennial plants that will ...
view the full question and answer

Can lantana be grown in British Columbia from Vernon BC
October 20, 2012 - Can I grow lantana in Vernon B.C. Canada?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.