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

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

Lack of Fruit on Forestiera
March 17, 2013 - I have not been able to get berry production on my elbow bush. I have male and female plants. Is it possible to help with the pollination process? Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Late winter pruning of native Texas Sage
January 27, 2005 - I have several Texas Sage bushes that have started to get very woody and have growth only on the top. This seems to have led to a definite listing to one side. Should I trim these to the ground or...
view the full question and answer

Bird-friendly plants for the Texas coast
July 13, 2012 - I'm interested in starting a native plant garden, specifically with an eye towards providing food (either from the plants or insects that are attracted to the plants) for migratory birds. However, s...
view the full question and answer

Time of year to plant Texas Mountain Laurel in El Paso, TX
June 10, 2013 - When is the best time of year to plant a Mountain Laurel tree in El Paso?
view the full question and answer

Privacy screen for Sedona AZ
August 02, 2013 - I live In Sedona Az. A builder just built a house next to my house and the new house is ugly to look at. What plant or tree would grow fast and reach 18 foot in height fast. It can be about 5 to 6 foo...
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