Explore Plants

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
    
 

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
7 ratings

Wednesday - September 30, 2009

From: Norborne, MO
Region: Midwest
Topic: Herbs/Forbs
Title: Plants for the north side of the house in Norborne MO
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

What perennials, plants, flowers, are best suited for north side of house?

ANSWER:

In questions about the orientation of a garden, the important consideration is the sun exposure to the area. If the plantings are out in the open, away from where they would be shaded by the house, other structures or trees, it really wouldn't matter, as long as the plants were native to the area and therefore accustomed to the climate, soils and rainfall. In the Northern Hemisphere, in the winter, the sun has dropped down toward the southern horizon, which means that plants close to the house will be in shade a good part of the year. The best way to make a decision on the amount of sun in an area is to keep records on what parts of the garden are in sun, how much sun and what times of the year. You likely don't want to wait to get such a thing done, so you need to make a judgment based on how close your plants would be to something that makes shade in the winter. In the summer, when the sun is more nearly overhead, a building will not cast much shade, although a wing, fence or garage could cause shade, even then.  If you have been on the property for a while, you probably already have a good idea. Our definition of "sun" is 6 hours or more of sun a day, "part shade" is 2 to 6 hours a day, and "shade" is less than 2 hours a day. 

Once you have defined for yourself which are your sun, part shade and shade areas, you can select plants native to your area of Carroll County, knowing that they will already be adapted to the environment, as long as their light requirements are met.  We will demonstrate how to do this by going to our Native Plant Database, Recommended Species, click on Missouri on the map. From there we will make separate searches on General Appearance, "herb" (herbaceous flowering plants,) with Light Requirements successively of sun, part shade and shade. Following the same procedure, we will select shrubs, trees and grasses. You can repeat this process, inserting indications of your Soil Moisture as well. We will check that each plant we select is native to your area. It probably will help you, when you are selecting plants, to make a rough sketch of the area, indicating sun, part shade and shade areas. When you read the list we are making, follow the links to the page on each individual plant to learn expected size, whether it is annual or perennial, evergreen or deciduous, growing conditions and propagation instructions. 

Plants for shade (less than 2 hours of sun a day) for Carroll County MO

Aquilegia canadensis (red columbine)

Coreopsis lanceolata (lanceleaf tickseed)

Cephalanthus occidentalis (common buttonbush)

Cornus racemosa (gray dogwood)

Cercis canadensis (eastern redbud)

Platanus occidentalis (American sycamore)

Calamagrostis canadensis (bluejoint)

Sorghastrum nutans (Indiangrass)

Plants for part shade (2 to 6 hours of sun a day) for Carroll County MO

Asclepias tuberosa (butterfly milkweed)

Echinacea purpurea (eastern purple coneflower)

Amorpha fruticosa (desert false indigo)

Symphoricarpos orbiculatus (coralberry)

Betula nigra (river birch)

Prunus americana (American plum)

Bouteloua curtipendula (sideoats grama)

Chasmanthium latifolium (Inland sea oats)

Plants for sun (6 hours or more of sun a day for Carroll County MO

Lobelia cardinalis (cardinalflower)

Lobelia siphilitica (great blue lobelia)

Amelanchier arborea (common serviceberry)

Rhus glabra (smooth sumac)

Fraxinus pennsylvanica (green ash)

Quercus macrocarpa (bur oak)

Panicum virgatum (switchgrass)

Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem)

Pictures from our Native Plant Image Gallery

 

 

 

 

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Plants for red clay in Hattiesburg, MS
May 16, 2011 - Looking for plants and flowers to plant in red clay?
view the full question and answer

Speed of growth on plants from Plant Sale from Austin
April 28, 2012 - Hello, I recently attended the native plant sale and bought several plants for a sunny curbside bed in central Austin. Due to financial constraints I stuck with the 3 inch varieties so I could buy 3 ...
view the full question and answer

General information on native Fendlers sandwort (Arenaria fendeleri)
December 19, 2005 - I am trying to locate any general information on Fendler's Sandwort. Any help will be greatly appreciated.
view the full question and answer

Native plants for memorial garden in Michigan
March 04, 2008 - I want to start a memorial garden for my daughter. I live in northern Michigan and the area has very tall white pines we have pruned them up about 15' so the area does get partial sun. Which plants w...
view the full question and answer

Need help fighting grass burs in La Grange, TX.
January 22, 2013 - I have 4 acres of wildflowers planted in my front yard. Unfortunately, grassburs have crept in & I need to control them with a pre-emergent. Will this keep the wildflowers from blooming? Also, would l...
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.