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

Monday - June 22, 2009

From: Milwaukee, WI
Region: Midwest
Topic: Shade Tolerant
Title: Plants for a shady garden in Wisconsin
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I have a shady garden in southeastern Wisconsin (Milwaukee) and am interested in introducing more native plants of all sizes and heights, hopefully with lovely flowers. I would love to know what you might suggest. Thank you.

ANSWER:

Please see our Recommended Species page and choose Wisconsin from the map or the pull-down menu.  This will give you a list of more than 170 native plants that are commercially available for landscaping in Wisconsin.  You can use the NARROW YOUR SEARCH option to find plants suitable for the shade by selecting 'Shade - 2 hrs or less' under Light Requirement.  You can also make selections under Soil Moisture and General Appearance.  Here are a few suggestions from the list:

Aquilegia canadensis (red columbine)

Arisaema triphyllum (Jack in the pulpit)

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (kinnikinnick)

Cornus alternifolia (alternateleaf dogwood)

Dicentra cucullaria (dutchman's breeches)

Dryopteris cristata (crested woodfern)

Hypericum prolificum (shrubby St. Johnswort)

Lobelia cardinalis (cardinalflower)

Lilium philadelphicum (wood lily)

Mertensia virginica (Virginia bluebells)

Ostrya virginiana (hophornbeam)

Rhus glabra (smooth sumac)

There are many more choices from the Recommended Species list for Wisconsin.


Aquilegia canadensis

Arisaema triphyllum

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi

Cornus alternifolia

Dicentra cucullaria

Dryopteris cristata

Hypericum prolificum

Lobelia cardinalis

Lilium philadelphicum

Mertensia virginica

Ostrya virginiana

 

 

More Shade Tolerant Questions

Evergreen plants for shaded bed and removing bermuda grass.
November 29, 2007 - Hi, Mr. Smarty Plants, I have two questions. First, the back of our house in Williamson County faces north. We have plant beds (about one foot wide and the length of the house) up against the back w...
view the full question and answer

Year-round ground cover for sun/shade
April 24, 2011 - Looking for a native ground cover for shade and middle afternoon/evening sun. Would like it to cover all year. I planted aguga and it froze. I have two large beds (I used about 70 4in plants for ea...
view the full question and answer

Where to find Horseherb seed
August 02, 2015 - I would like to purchase some Horseherb seeds. Can you tell me where I can do that? Either locally or on line. Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Need a 2-4 ft shrub for the shady NW side of the house in Austin, TX
February 07, 2012 - I am looking for a 2-4 ft tall shrub or hedge to plant along the NW side of my house, which is shaded by a live oak. This area doesn't get any direct sun. I wondered if a row of Winter Gem Boxwoods ...
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

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