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
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


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?


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

Flowering native perennials for St. Louis
August 09, 2007 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I'm trying to landscape a yard that sits on rocky clay soil in St. Louis, MO. The front yard has been difficult because of its brutal southern exposure - the afternoon sun ...
view the full question and answer

Failure to bloom of Turk's cap in Midland TX
September 08, 2009 - My turk's cap won't make flowers. It has daily watering via irrigation system, and soft amended soil. The plant is beautiful and thriving, but no flowers. What should I do?
view the full question and answer

Growing Texas wildflowers indoors for a March wedding from Austin
October 01, 2013 - I have learned so much from this site! Thank you! I am getting Married this March and I am hoping to use Texas wildflowers for the centerpieces. I hope to grow them in containers indoors and have the ...
view the full question and answer

Chile pequin not ripening to red from Marlborough MA
September 14, 2012 - I have a healthy Chile Pequin in Marlborough, MA, flowering and fruiting profusely. But, the fruit are not ripening to red, as did their parent plants in Florida. Fruit go from green to deep purple ...
view the full question and answer

Is blue porterweed native to North America from Spring TX
July 14, 2013 - I recently purchased a blue porterweed (Stachytarpheta jamaicensis) plant from the native plant section of one of our local nurseries. I was surprised when I didn't find it on your list of native pla...
view the full question and answer

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