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
6 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

Shade tolerant Wildflowers for Oklahoma City
April 16, 2012 - I live in Oklahoma City. I'm not in town very often, and am seeking low maintenance plants. I have MANY trees in my backyard, which makes it quite shady. I have raised beds amongst my rock garden ...
view the full question and answer

Native grasses for shady yard in Austin
September 04, 2011 - I was looking at your research on native grasses to be used in a yard. I want to plant your native mix of seeds, but worry that there is too much shade in my yard. I live in central Austin and wante...
view the full question and answer

Different shades of green in Taxodium distichum (bald cypress)
June 05, 2008 - I have two bald cypress trees 50 feet apart, but there was very different soil in the two holes. One was a clayey soil and the other was much more the Austin limestone soil. The trees are about 2 ye...
view the full question and answer

Native plants for partial shade in Pennsylvania
April 04, 2008 - Much of my growing area in Northern exposure, shade-partial shade once trees get leaves. I'm looking for native plants to use for screens and for ground-covers, grasses and edible plants.
view the full question and answer

Native plants for part shade in North Carolina
February 07, 2009 - I'm thinking about planting a border in front of my house. It's on the north side, so it's fairly shady. One of the main problems with this is that I don't like many common shade plants, so it's ...
view the full question and answer

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