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

Monday - March 29, 2010

From: Pearland, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shade Tolerant
Title: Natives for a raised, part-shade bed in Pearland TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have a couple of raised beds that I want to plant a few shrubs (3 feet tall), perennials, and annuals. I want all the plants to be native to Texas. The only problem is that I am not plant knowledgeable and need help with determining what to plant. The beds get partial shade. Any ideas or suggestions of plants that are easy to find would be great.

ANSWER:

Why don't you begin with our How-To Article on  A Guide to Native Plant Gardening. Then we invite you to learn to use our Native Plant Database to become plant knowledgeable, and understand what is available. The specification for shrubs 3 ft. tall may be a little difficult, as most natives will grow taller than that.  Some can be pruned and some may have some dwarf cultivars or selections. Because Pearland is in USDA Hardiness Zone 9a, you will have a variety of native sub-tropicals available to widen your selection. 

To begin, we will go to our Recommended Species section, click on South Texas on the map, and then Narrow Your Search by selecting, first, "herbs: (herbaceous blooming plants), under Habit or General Appearance, then "annual" under Lifespan, and "part shade" under Light Requirements. We will repeat this search with"perennial" under LIfespan, and, finally, "shrub," with "all durations." We will select some examples of each category with your qualifications, and you can repeat our search technique with other parameters and/or make your own selections. These plants should all be commercially available; if you have difficulty locating them, go to our National Suppliers Directory, type in your city and state in the "Enter Search Location" box, and you will get a list of native seed companies, plant nurseries and landscape consultants in your general area. All have contact information, and you can get in touch with them in advance to find out if they have the plants you are looking for, or can order them. They also should be able to tell you if there are dwarf cultivars that will stay under your 3-ft. limit. 

If you are planning to seed annuals in your garden, they should not be planted until next Fall. Sometimes you can buy bedding plants of annuals and get bloom on them this year, but seeds should be planted when they would ordinarily drop from the plants, which is usually Fall in Texas. By the same token, perennials will not bloom until the second year, although, again, you could obtain bedding plants to give you some color this year. For shrubs, you need to either get them in the ground right away, before the heat starts to rise, or wait until Fall. Plants, especially woody plants like shrubs and trees, should not be planted in the hot part of the year; they can suffer from transplant shock which could retard their development or kill them.

Follow each plant link to the webpage on that individual plant in our Native Plant Database to learn more about it, including Propagation Instructions, color and time of year of blooms, and Benefits.

Annuals for Pearland, TX:

Centaurea americana (American star-thistle)

Chamaecrista fasciculata (partridge pea)

Gaillardia pulchella (firewheel)

Salvia coccinea (blood sage)

Perrenials for Pearland, TX: 

Callirhoe involucrata (purple poppymallow)

Conoclinium coelestinum (blue mistflower)

Hibiscus martianus (heartleaf rosemallow)

Monarda fistulosa (wild bergamot)

Shrubs for Pearland, TX: 

Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry)

Erythrina herbacea (redcardinal)

Leucophyllum frutescens (Texas barometer bush)

Pavonia lasiopetala (Texas swampmallow)

From our Image Gallery:


Centaurea americana

Chamaecrista fasciculata

Gaillardia pulchella

Salvia coccinea

Callirhoe involucrata

Conoclinium coelestinum

Hibiscus martianus

Monarda fistulosa

Callicarpa americana

Erythrina herbacea

Leucophyllum frutescens

Pavonia lasiopetala

 

 

 

 

 

More Shade Tolerant Questions

Area under live oaks from Austin
October 08, 2012 - We have many live oaks in our mostly shaded half acre. While I have tried to plant mostly native plants, often beneath them, the plants are showered with leathery leaves, acorns and sap, while oak sp...
view the full question and answer

Ground cover for shade from Atlanta GA
May 28, 2012 - I am looking for recommendations for a ground cover. I live in the Atlanta, Georgia area and have a large shady slope on which I would like to use low maintenance/water native ground cover. What wou...
view the full question and answer

Plants for a Narrow, Dry, Shaded Site in Georgia
April 03, 2014 - I am writing from Valdosta, GA. Could you please suggest three perennial shrubs and/or plants that flower at different times of the spring and summer? Also ones that can be planted in a 2 ft. wide s...
view the full question and answer

Salt-tolerant groundcover for shade with no water supply
September 11, 2013 - We have a home in Neptune Beach (Jacksonville) Florida (NE Florida). We have a large area outside our ground floor master bedroom that is completely covered (there is a large solid deck above it). ...
view the full question and answer

Choice of shade trees from the City of Austin
March 29, 2011 - I have a choice of three shade trees from the city of Austin. They are Live Oak, Elm, Cedar. Although I am happy to have a free tree, I think the choices are not the best for my home. I have a small ...
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