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

Sunday - July 12, 2009

From: Greenville, SC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Herbs/Forbs
Title: Native plants for a garden in Greenville SC
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Beebalm, Threadleaf Coreopsis, a Yaupon Holly, a Southern Magnolia, and a Highbush Blueberry. And as a ground cover in some areas, we have Cinquefoil (which helped me choke out Indian strawberry!) But now, we have run into a problem, but not with all the plants I have, but with the sun, we are running out of full sun. Are there any more perennial wildflowers (or annuals that self-sow well regularly) that like part shade and full shade that could compliment our sun loving flowers? Are there any different suggestions for perennial plants that will do well in the remaining full sun?

ANSWER:

Your question is pretty complex, and we really don't know where you need sun or shade, how much room you have or what, so allow us to introduce you to our Native Plants Database. We will give you a few examples of our suggestions, but you can find so many more and answer other questions you will think of as you look at possibilities. Since we also don't know how experienced a gardener you are, we suggest you read a How-To Article that will help you get started: A Guide to Native Plant Gardening  will do for starters. If you would like to look at our other How-To Articles, just click on How To Articles under Explore Plants.

To begin your search, go to Recommended Species, click on South Carolina on the map. Under Narrow Your Search, you can select "herbs" (herbaceous blooming plants), "shrubs" or "trees" under Habit. You can also indicate your Light Requirements in this search. We consider "sun" to be six hours or more of sun daily, "part shade" 2 to 6 hours of sun daily, and "shade" less than 2 hours of sun daily. For our example, we will search on "herbs" (herbaceous flowering plants) and shade or part shade. When we did this, we got 31 possbilities of blooming plants native to South Carolina. From these, we chose four as examples, all of which will grow well in either sun or part shade. You find out all about these plants by following the plant link, and going to the webpage for each plant. Under "Growing Conditions" you will learn what kind of soil this plant does best in, how much water it needs, and sun requirements. Under "Benefits" you will find out what wildlife this plant attracts. Then, go on to repeat the process for yourself, looking at more herbs or shrubs and trees until you find the perfect plants for your empty spots.

Achillea millefolium (common yarrow) - 2 to 3 ft. tall, perennial, blooms white, pink April to September, sun or part shade

Asclepias tuberosa (butterfly milkweed) - 2 ft. tall, perennial, deciduous, blooms yellow, orange May to September, sun or part shade, larval host to Monarch butterfly

Conoclinium coelestinum (blue mistflower) - to 3 ft. tall, blooms blue, purple July to November, sun or part shade, attracts butterflies

Echinacea purpurea (eastern purple coneflower) - 3 to 5 ft., perennial, blooms pink, purple April to September, sun or part shade, attracts butterflies and hummingbirds


Achillea millefolium

Asclepias tuberosa

Conoclinium coelestinum

Echinacea purpurea

 

 

 

 

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Plants for a lakeside bank in NC
November 07, 2011 - Our association is looking to plant a huge sloped area that runs down to Lake Wylie. We want to plant something that is good for erosion and that does not grow too tall so that we keep our view of th...
view the full question and answer

Combining yellow columbine and Malvaviscus arboreus
March 07, 2008 - Can yellow columbine coexist peacefully with Malvaviscus arboreus? I have a nice stand of the former and would like to plant the latter to take over when the columbine starts to look ratty in the hea...
view the full question and answer

Native perennial winter plants for Waco, TX
November 03, 2004 - I live in the Waco area, and would like to know winter plants that I could use that would come back each year, flowering or otherwise.
view the full question and answer

Hillside Groundcovers for Pollinating Insects in Wisconsin
November 28, 2015 - I am looking for native plants for a project around Hudson, Wisconsin. We are to choose native plants to be seeded next spring 2016. They are to be planted on a hillside under and around solar panels ...
view the full question and answer

Why is oakleaf hydrangea not blooming now in Irving TX?
July 01, 2009 - I live in Irving Texas and have an oakleaf hydrangea. It bloomed in the early spring and now it is not blooming. Is there anything I can do to get to bloom?
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