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 - March 06, 2010

From: Burkburnett, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shade Tolerant
Title: Small shrub for shady area
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I would like to find a shrub to plant on the north, northeast side of my house, but it will be in mostly shade. It needs to get between 21/2' to 4' tall. Do you have any suggestions please?

ANSWER:

These plants will all grow in part shade (2 to 6 hours sun per day) and some will grow in shade (less than 2 hours sun per day).

Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. wrightii (Wright's desert honeysuckle) can be pruned to the size you desire.

Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry) can be pruned each winter to keep in your size range.

Chromolaena odorata (Jack in the bush) will die back to roots in hard winter.

Ilex vomitoria (yaupon) will grow in shade, part shade and sun.  There are dwarf varieties and it can be trimmed into a shrub of the desired size.  Also, it is evergreen.

Mahonia trifoliolata (agarita) is evergreen and but it does have sharp spines on the end of its leaves.

Salvia regla (mountain sage) grows in shade and part shade and recommended to be pruned to encourage busy growth.

Glossopetalon planitierum (plains greasebush) grows in part shade and is low-growing.

Rhus microphylla (littleleaf sumac) grows in part shade, can be pruned and is fast-growing.

Zinnia grandiflora (Rocky Mountain zinnia) is very low-growing (6-8 inches) in part shade.

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


Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. wrightii

Callicarpa americana

Chromolaena odorata

Ilex vomitoria

Mahonia trifoliolata

Salvia regla

Glossopetalon planitierum

Rhus microphylla

Zinnia grandiflora

 

 

More Shade Tolerant Questions

Shade and Drought Tolerant Plants for Idaho Shade
March 18, 2016 - I am looking for plants native to Idaho and/or the surrounding region (zone 6 or 7) that would do well in full shade conditions (adjacent to the north side of our house) and meet several criteria: Max...
view the full question and answer

Grasses for shady acreage in Paige, TX
February 10, 2009 - My family recently bought property in Paige, TX. We thinned out the dense vegetation leaving pines and some oak and juniper. The ground is now bare sand throughout much of the property, except for th...
view the full question and answer

Salt tolerant plants for shade on tidal inlet in NY
August 11, 2013 - Are there any salt water tolerant grasses or forbs with deep roots that grow in shade? I live on a tidal inlet/canal on Long Island NY. The southern bank has cedars and oaks but the soil is eroding ...
view the full question and answer

Edible plants in shade in Enville TN
June 15, 2009 - I have a flower bed against the back of my house with nothing in it. We moved into this house late last year and I was planning on planting some tomato plants there until I discovered it never gets an...
view the full question and answer

Plant Suggestions for Shady Site under Trees in Alabama
April 03, 2014 - I live in Montgomery, AL and have a bare area (20' x 5) that's shady and soil erosion is a problem. Grass stops growing at the drip line of the trees here. Do you have any suggestions for growing s...
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