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?


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
7 ratings

Friday - May 15, 2009

From: Glendale, AZ
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shade Tolerant
Title: Need plants for shade in Arizona.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills


Please suggest plants that I can plant in a shaded area. I live in Glendale, Arizona. The shade will be 100% of the time.


Mr. Smarty Plants wasn't aware that that there was any shade in Arizona. Just kidding.

Seriously, since you didn't mention what kind of plants you have in mind, let's go to our website and let you make some choices. If you go to our Recommended Species page and select Arizona on the map, you will get a list of 224 commercially available native plant species suitable for planned landscapes in Arizona. Scroll down and click the "Narrow Your Search" box where you can become more selective.

You see that you have several parameters from which to choose. For the first run, choose AZ for the state, Herb under "Habit", Annual under "Duration",  Shade under "Light requirement", the appropriate moisture for your site under "Soil moisture" (I chose moist), and the appropriate bloom characteristics (you can leave that blank for now).  Click the "Narrow your search" button and you will get a list of two plants that meet these criteria. Clicking on each plant name will bring up its NPIN page that describes the plant's characteristics.

You can modify your listing by changing the choices in each box for the types of plants that you have in mind.

Once you have found some plant names, go to our Suppliers Directory to locate businesses in Arizona that have these plants for sale.


More Shade Tolerant Questions

Vine to cover fence from Haverhill MA
April 17, 2014 - Hello, I'm looking for a fast growing vine to cover a chain link fence. The area is sunny half of the day. I have 2 small children so I don't want something that attracts bees or could be dangerous ...
view the full question and answer

Plants for under Oak Trees in LA.
March 05, 2013 - What type of plants and grass can be planted under and around oak trees
view the full question and answer

What plant grows in extremely hot Texas weather in the shade in Dallas Texas?
July 30, 2009 - What plant grows in extremely hot Texas weather in the shade?
view the full question and answer

Privacy screen from Simpsonville SC
May 04, 2013 - My neighbor cut down his part of our shared woods so now we see his whole "outside patio area". What kinds of fast growing shade loving trees and shrubs can we plant on our property line that will c...
view the full question and answer

Tough grasses for shade
November 24, 2010 - What kind of grass/groundcover can I put in our backyard that is shady/dry and has 50 lb. high energy dog traffic? Was considering Horse Herb but not sure, as it sounds like you can't get rid of it,...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center