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
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

Saturday - February 06, 2010

From: San Antonio, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shrubs
Title: Small shrubs and perennials, low maintenance, for San Antonio
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I am helping my 87 year old father landscape his yard in San Antonio. His small yard is about a block from the SA River, near the zoo, and has clay and loam from the river. He wants very low to low water suggestions for small shrubs, perennials, and annuals, most in full sun. I'm concerned that many native plants are from the rocky limestone caliche-type soils and won't adapt to his clay/loam. He does have good drainage. Do you have some suggestions for plants? Should I add shale/small rocks to the dirt? Thanks.

ANSWER:

All of the recommended plants listed below grow in or adjacent to Bexar County. You will see by reading the 'Growing Conditions' under each of the following recommended plants that they tolerate various types of soils.  Most of them list clay loam and clay among the soil types for the plant so there is not really in need for you to add anything to the soil. Good drainage is important and it sounds as if you have that.  You will find lots of useful information about creating gardens using native plants in our 'How to Article', A Guide to Native Plant Gardening.

Dalea frutescens (black prairie clover)

Lantana urticoides (West Indian shrubverbena)

Pavonia lasiopetala (Texas swampmallow)

Melampodium leucanthum (plains blackfoot)

Engelmannia peristenia (Engelmann's daisy)

Glandularia bipinnatifida var. bipinnatifida (Dakota mock vervain)

Hesperaloe parviflora (redflower false yucca)

Leucophyllum frutescens (Texas barometer bush)

Malvaviscus arboreus (wax mallow)

Nolina texana (Texas sacahuista)

Salvia farinacea (mealycup sage)

Wedelia texana (hairy wedelia)

Here are photos of the above plants from our Image Gallery:


Dalea frutescens

Lantana urticoides

Pavonia lasiopetala

Melampodium leucanthum

Engelmannia peristenia

Glandularia bipinnatifida var. bipinnatifida

Hesperaloe parviflora

Leucophyllum frutescens

Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii

Nolina texana

Salvia farinacea

Wedelia texana

 

 

 

 

More Shrubs Questions

Need shrubs to plant alongside a swimming pool in Tampa, FL.
September 05, 2011 - I Have a 3 1/2 foot gap between my pool screen and back fence. This gap runs about 30 ft. long. I would like to place small trees to look beautiful and to grow 6-8 ft. high to screen out my neighbor...
view the full question and answer

Replacing non-native boxwood in Austin
October 03, 2011 - I have a large maze garden, possibly boxwood, originally planted in the 1950's, in Austin, Texas. About 1/3 of it has died out, probably due to drought, heat and age. Should I attempt to replant ju...
view the full question and answer

Repotting of lemon cypress for drainage
October 26, 2008 - Hi, I bought a lemon cypress tree in a nice tin, It is in Plastic and the bottom has about 1.5" of water with no drainage in the plastic or tin. It will be kept inside. Does the plant need to be in...
view the full question and answer

Need to Landscape a Small Yard in Southern California
February 03, 2011 - We live in Southern California, and have a small yard – approx. 40’ x 20.’ We want to remove the grass, which we are currently not irrigating, and replace with low maintenance, drought-tolerant plant...
view the full question and answer

Plants for a sandy slope at a weekend cabin in central WI.
June 30, 2009 - I have a cabin in central Wisconsin where the soil is equivalent to a sandy beach. There are some areas that are nearly impossible to mow because of how steep the incline is. Could you recommend som...
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