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

Friday - November 25, 2005

From: St. Louis, MO
Region: Midwest
Topic: Shade Tolerant
Title: Small evergreen native shrubs for apartment garden in shade in St. Louis
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I live in an apartment in St. Louis, MO, and have a small patch of rocky soil in the stairwell that I would like to plant with a native or natives. The area is entirely shaded, but all the natives I've found that do well in full shade require a moist soil. Can you recommend any plants that might grow well here? Thank you!

ANSWER:

You don't say exactly how large your area is, but I am assuming it is rather small. You probably are looking for evergreen or semi-evergreen plants that are not too large. One good candidate is asemi-evergreen, low-spreading shrub Prairie Sagebrush (Artemisia frigida). One drawback for it is that its pollen can cause hay fever. Lyre-leaf Sage (Salvia lyrata) makes a very good evergreen ground cover that will grow in the shade in most soil types. It will require some watering. There are several perennial flowers that are not evergreen that will grow in partial shade in poor soils—for instance, Red Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis), Blue Larkspur (Delphinium carolinianum), and Prairie Verbena (Glandularia bipinnatifida).

You can search for more possiblities in the Native Plant Database by doing a combination search selecting type of Growth Habit (e.g., Herb, Subschrub, Shrub, etc.), Light Needs, Water Use, Soil Moisture and by selecting Missouri from the U. S. Distribution column. You can also search for a nursery or seed company that specializes in native plants in your area in the National Suppliers Directory.
 

More Shade Tolerant Questions

Erosion Control in Bartlesville OK
May 10, 2012 - What kind of plants can we use to stop erosion and loss of bank on a creek that is mostly shaded? Is there any free advice/plants for people that are losing land due to water levels rising/dropping?
view the full question and answer

Shade tree for Portland, OR
March 18, 2009 - Looking for shade tree for Portland, Oregon, with non-invasive root system. House will be 20 ft away, with basement.
view the full question and answer

Replacing mature Arizona Ash trees in Austin
August 26, 2011 - Mr. Smarty Plants, I have 2 very large, very old Arizona Ash trees in my yard. I want to remove them and replace them with something like Cedar Elm or Chinquapin Oak. The problem is that they are t...
view the full question and answer

Habiturf for shady areas in San Antonio TX
November 08, 2013 - Will the Habiturf grass mentioned here do well in shady areas too?
view the full question and answer

Ground cover for shady site in Tyler TX
February 24, 2009 - I live in Tyler Texas and have a lot of shade and sandy soil. No grass will grow and I was wondering if I should look at ground cover instead? If so, what grows in shade and sand? I have tried sever...
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