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
Not Yet Rated

Monday - June 22, 2009

From: Hawley, PA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Shade Tolerant
Title: Hardy plant with minimal care for shade in dry soil
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I have a weekend house in Hawley, PA where I try to garden - often with poor results. There is a spot on the northeast corner of my foundation where I have put plant after plant - but none of them survive the winter. The corner gets minimum sun and is at the top of a slight slope. I need a hardy, plant that need minimum care (only there on weekends) and is good in dry soil. Any suggestions?

ANSWER:

If you visit our Native Plant Database, you can do a COMBINATION SEARCH to help you find suitable plants for your site.  Just choose Pennsylvania from the Select State or Province category, 'Shade - ' from Light requirement, 'Dry - ' from Soil Moisture and then you can choose the type of plant you want from Habit (general appearance).  Here are a few suggestions for shrubs:

Ceanothus americanus (New Jersey tea)

Diervilla lonicera (northern bush honeysuckle)

Hypericum prolificum (shrubby St. Johnswort)

Physocarpus opulifolius (common ninebark)

Shepherdia canadensis (russet buffaloberry)

Here are some perennial herbaceous plants:

Lycopodium digitatum (fan clubmoss)

Maianthemum stellatum (starry false lily of the valley)

Pteridium aquilinum (western brackenfern)

No matter what plant you choose, it will need watering until its root system is established.


Ceanothus americanus

Diervilla lonicera

Hypericum prolificum

Physocarpus opulifolius

Shepherdia canadensis

Lycopodium digitatum

Maianthemum stellatum

Pteridium aquilinum

 

 

More Shade Tolerant Questions

Ornamental plants for under live oaks
September 08, 2008 - What ornamental plant will do well under Live Oak trees?
view the full question and answer

Native violets under maples from Gettysburg PA
July 06, 2012 - Just for your info (no need to post or reply), I saw an old post of a question of something to grow under maples. In central PA, native violets grow very well under several species of maples in lawns...
view the full question and answer

Drought-tolerant plants for deep shade in Florida
June 23, 2012 - I am looking for indigenous, drought tolerant, leafy dense plants (kind of hosta like) that will grow in deep shade (under a tree that gets little sun) in Jacksonville, Florida.
view the full question and answer

Groundcover for shade in Paris, Texas
November 02, 2009 - I have a south exposure with 2 large sycamore trees. Noon sun in patches and mainly dappled shade but not dense. I'm consideering planting asian ivy. The soil is "sandy loam" but it's very sand...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen shrub for Austin TX shade
October 24, 2015 - I live in Austin, TX. I'm looking for a 4 season shrub for a partially shaded area that gets about 3 hours of sun towards the evening. It's mostly partially shaded.
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