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?

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
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

Monday - August 10, 2009

From: Briarcliff, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildlife Gardens
Title: Plant for hummingbirds shelter in Briarcliff TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I am looking to grow a container plant for the birds to enjoy on my back deck. A little greenery and possibly a place to rest for the birds would be great. This faces west and has no shade. There are mostly hummingbirds on the deck and the nearest tree for rest is 15 feet away. Heat tolerance is a must. A shrub of some sort would be great. The deck is on a drop off so growing something from the ground is difficult. So far I have only attempted to grow a large Texas sotol which is doing great. Thank you, Ginger

ANSWER:

What a lovely and generous idea. We can think of several shrubs that could be adapted to container use, would offer shelter, and nectar for hummingbirds and butterflies. If you have not already done so, we suggest you read our How-To Article Container Gardening with Native Plants. Also, follow the links on each plant we list below to learn its expected size, etc. You may have to do some pruning to keep them within the bounds you want, so be sure you determine when it's safe to prune in terms of the blooming branches. Some of the shrubs we list are deciduous, but since most of our hummingbirds are migratory, the lack of leaves should not be a deterrent. All of these shrubs are native to Travis County, and should be dependable.

Shrubs for attracting hummingbirds in Briarcliff TX

Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. wrightii (Wright's desert honeysuckle) - deciduous, blooms red, orange June to October, sun, attracts hummingbirds and butterflies

Erythrina herbacea (redcardinal) - deciduous, blooms red March to November, , sun, attracts hummingbirds. WARNING: Seeds are poisonous, should not be used where children could have access.

Lantana urticoides (West Indian shrubverbena) - semi-evergreen, blooms red, orange, yellow April to October, attracts hummingbirds and butterflies, sun

Leucophyllum frutescens (Texas barometer bush) - evergreen, blooms white, pink, violet sporadically year-round, depending on rain, sun, nectar for insects, and cover

Salvia greggii (autumn sage) - evergreen, blooms white, red, pink March to May, sun, nectar source for bees and butterflies

Senna lindheimeriana (velvet leaf senna) - dedicuous, blooms yellow August to October, sun, attracts birds, butterflies

Pictures from our Native Plant Database


Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. wrightii

Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. wrightii

Erythrina herbacea

Erythrina herbacea

Lantana urticoides

Lantana urticoides

Leucophyllum frutescens

Leucophyllum frutescens

Salvia greggii

Salvia greggii

Senna lindheimeriana

Senna lindheimeriana

 

 

More Wildlife Gardens Questions

Latin name for botany mist in McAllen TX
November 10, 2009 - What is the latin name or formal name of botany mist which is a Queen butterfly nectar source in the Rio Grande Valley?
view the full question and answer

Drought tolerant plants for butterflies and hummingbirds
November 16, 2009 - I have about 150 sq ft of space in our backyard (urban OKC residence) that gets direct sun in the morning but is 100% shaded by 11-Noon from 2 large Sycamore trees. The space is on the west side of t...
view the full question and answer

Wildlife garden for PA
October 12, 2010 - Dear Mr. Smarty plants, I am a student at Allegheny College, Meadville, PA. I am working on my senior thesis, and I hope to submit a successful proposal to plant a native species and wildlife garden ...
view the full question and answer

Landscaping from Wilmington NC
December 22, 2012 - I plan on moving to Belmont NC in the next couple of years and settling down with my future wife in her home town. I am a huge do it yourself person. I love to make things from scratch, including buil...
view the full question and answer

Grasses and wildflowers for Houston meadow
February 28, 2008 - I recently bought a house in a new subdivision just south of Houston - as with most new developments, the area is devoid of nature for the most part... I have planted many bird/butterfly/bee fr...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center