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

Tuesday - February 02, 2010

From: Bellville, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shrubs
Title: Low-growing evergreen shrubs for Bellville , TX
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I live north of Bellville, TX and have a 3-tiered retaining wall on the west and north sides of my house. What low growing (around 2' tall) evergreen shrubs would be good to plant here. The west side gets full sun and the north side is very shady most of the day. The area is well drained. Thank you.

ANSWER:

There aren't really any evergreen shrubs native to your area that grow to only 2 feet, but we can suggest some other evergreen plants, at least for the shady areas of your wall.  For the sunny areas, there are several evergreen shrubs that grow taller than your preference that would do nicely and, with judicious pruning, you could keep them at a level near 2 feet. 

For the shady areas there are several evergreen, or semi-evergreen ferns:

Asplenium platyneuron (ebony spleenwort) part shade, shade and grows to 3 feet and is evergreen.

Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern) grows 1.5 to 2 feet in shade and part shade and is evergreen.

Thelypteris kunthii (Kunth's maiden fern) grows to 3 feet in shade and part shade and is described as semi-evergreen.

Sedges are grass-like and the following three are evergreen and grow to less than 2 feet:

Carex cherokeensis (Cherokee sedge) grows 1 to 1.5 feet in sun and part shade. Here is more information.

Carex blanda (eastern woodland sedge) grows to 1 foot in part shade and shade.  Here is more information.

Carex texensis (Texas sedge) grows to 1 foot in sun or part shade. Here is more information.

Here are several evergreen shrubs that should work for your area:

Morella cerifera [Myrica cerifera] (wax myrtle) grows 6 t0 8 feet in sun and part shade.  There are dwarf varieties that generally grow to around 3 feet.

Leucophyllum frutescens (Texas barometer bush) 5 to 8 feet in sun or part shade.

Malpighia glabra (wild crapemyrtle) grows 3 to 6 feet in part shade.

Sabal minor (dwarf palmetto) grows 5 to 10 feet in sun, part shade and shade.


Asplenium platyneuron

Polystichum acrostichoides

Thelypteris kunthii

Carex cherokeensis

Carex blanda

Carex texensis

Morella cerifera

Leucophyllum frutescens

Malpighia glabra

Sabal minor

 

 

 

More Shrubs Questions

Decorative small evergreen tree for Las Vegas NV
January 06, 2013 - I need a small decorative tree to be planted among a pine tree background; would prefer evergreen.
view the full question and answer

Covering dead arborvitae with non-native ivy from Niles MI
April 14, 2013 - I have a severely thinning arborvitae hedge. It is probably too shady, but I want the privacy. I'm thinking of planting something like ivy to fill the gaps. I know it will probably kill the hedge, bu...
view the full question and answer

Hankering for a view-blocking hedge in Hempstead, TX.
July 03, 2013 - Hempstead is 50 miles west of Houston and I am looking for a fast growing native to provide a block of a view for a fairly large area (about half a block). I would prefer something that is also benef...
view the full question and answer

Aromatic sumac in Travis County
August 14, 2010 - This is an answer to article in today's, August 14, newspaper. I assume that aromatic sumac is native to Travis county because I have it all over my property. It turns bright red in the fall adding...
view the full question and answer

Plants to keep children out of yard
April 23, 2008 - I WANT TO PLANT SOMETHING ALONG A FENCE LINE TO KEEP CHILDREN OUT OF OUR YARD. NEEDS TO GROW FAST BUT NOT POISONOUS
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center