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

Shade trees with a tap root
July 31, 2009 - I need a list of shade trees with a tap root system. I would also like the tree to grow at a medium to fast rate. I will be planting near a concrete wall and do not want the roots to do any damage to ...
view the full question and answer

Plants to grow under elm tree in Amarillo TX
May 01, 2014 - I have a large elm tree and I can't get seem to get anything to grow under it. I was wondering if there are any shade-loving groundcovers that you would recommend (have tried English Ivy, hostas, an...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen Deck Plant for Oregon
May 29, 2011 - Need evergreen shrub to grow in shade in container 5ft tall for deck.
view the full question and answer

Saving or transplanting stand of white trillium that has lost shade
May 29, 2006 - We have a generous stand of white trillium that has been under the shade of a white oak for many years. Now the 100+ year old oak has died and the trilliums are in the sun. Are we in danger of losin...
view the full question and answer

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

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center