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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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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!

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Tuesday - June 23, 2009

From: N. Richland Hills, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shrubs
Title: Small drought-resistant shrub for northeast Texas
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I am replacing the formal hedge of hollies along the front of my house and was planning to use mostly Inidan Hawthornes, but now I'm reading that they are very prone to disease, are there any low growing diease-resistant varieties for NE TX? They will be in a bed facing South. If you have other suggestions for smaller drought resistant shrubs, please suggest away.

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants certainly wouldn't be recommending Rhaphiolepis indica (Indian hawthorn) since it is a native of Asia and what we are all about here at the Wildflower Center is increasing "the sustainable use and conservation of native wildflowers, plants and landscapes."  We do, however, have recommendations for native plants to replace your hollies.  These are all evergreens.

Morella cerifera (wax myrtle) has dwarf, compact varieties for sale.

Mahonia swaseyi (Texas barberry)

Mahonia trifoliolata (agarita)

If you would like to find more choices (although not evergreen), please visit our Recommended Species page and select North Central Texas from the map or the pull-down menu.  This will give you a list of commercially available native plants for landscapiing in your area.  You can use the NARROW YOUR SEARCH option to limit the list to shrubs by selecting 'Shrub' from the General Appearance category.


Morella cerifera

Mahonia swaseyi

Mahonia trifoliolata

 

 

 

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