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

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

Plants for a school garden in College Station TX
July 20, 2011 - I need to plant some things in my school garden. Green plants and plants with some color. Hardly ever rains here. Please give suggestions.
view the full question and answer

Growing Buttonbush in California
May 24, 2015 - For the Buttonbush, how do you keep it consistently moist?
view the full question and answer

Thoughts on non-native Italian Cypress in Austin
January 01, 2014 - I would like to know your thoughts on growing Italian Cypress trees in Austin Texas? We are looking to create a privacy screen(and prepared to pay more for mature trees to cut down the wait to grow...
view the full question and answer

Pruning buttonbush from Pottsville PA
December 10, 2013 - In a formally planted park, a small area has become swampy. I have choosen to plant it with wet tolerant native plants. I would appreciate any suggestions on pruning the buttonbush [Cephalanthus occ...
view the full question and answer

Non-native Jerusalem Sage from Comfort TX
May 31, 2012 - I live in Comfort, TX. I have 3 Jerusalem sage plants that bloom beautifully each year. However, just the past week one has started turning yellow and brown. The leaves look withered and ready to die....
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