Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Understory Shrubs for Pennsylvania Clay
December 04, 2013 - I want to replace three non-native Euonymus alatus with native shrubs that will serve as host plants for butterfly/moth species and/or attract bumblebees and other native bees. The shrubs I have are ...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen perennials for a pond bank in Texas
June 18, 2015 - We want evergreen perennial plants for the banks of our small pond. The banks are eroding and we need to help keep them strong. We have ducks in the pond and lots of turtles. We would love something ...
view the full question and answer

Older leaves yellowing on Savannah holly in Dallas
May 01, 2009 - I planted a Savannah Holly in Dallas, TX in the Fall of 2008. It has new growth and some white buds all over it, but some of the older leaves are turning yellow and dropping off. Is this normal?
view the full question and answer

Limp leaves on Texas purple sage in Magnolia TX
July 22, 2010 - Recently planted Texas purple sage, some of it looks healthy and has new blooms, but a few of the plants have limp leaves and are thin at the bottom. I read the article on cotton root rot, but am not ...
view the full question and answer

Potting soil recipe for azaleas
October 07, 2007 - I have a couple of Azaleas in pots that need repotting.I can't remember the recipe for the medium I put them in last time other than pine bark mulch. I think there were three ingredients. What is ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.