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

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

Shrubs for a Shady Foundation Planting in Texas
February 28, 2015 - We are looking for foundation shrubs, 2-4' mature height, for a totally shaded area which does receive bright light all day.
view the full question and answer

How to keep persimmons from staining patio
August 10, 2008 - We have approximately 4 female persimmons bearing fruit around our back patio. Birds are carrying the berries to our patio and eating them which leaves a dark stain on our patio. I'm having to go o...
view the full question and answer

Will shoes pick up American Beautyberry fruit and stain carpets?
March 21, 2010 - Do the berries from American Beautyberry fall on the ground so your shoes pick up the berries to stain the carpet in my house?
view the full question and answer

Looking for a fast-growing evergreen shrub to use along a fence line to obscure unsightly surroundings in Douglassville, TX.
January 07, 2011 - I live in far East Texas (near Texarkana). I need a fast growing, thick evergreen shrub to plant along a fenceline to block out the unsightly "junkyard" my neighbors have going. Prefer something t...
view the full question and answer

Dog Friendly Privacy Hedge for Long Island
April 14, 2013 - Can you please advise me of some plants for a privacy hedge that are non-toxic to dogs and that would thrive on Long Island, NY? I am looking for a hedge to grow to about 6-8 ft.
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