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

Will Texas kidneywood grow in dappled shade?
December 09, 2008 - Will Texas Kidneywood be successful as an understory plant in dappled shade? There is a location near the house, under a small grove of established live oaks and cedar elms, that needs an airy screen...
view the full question and answer

Shade tree with no roots to interfere with patio in Lake City FL
April 24, 2011 - I have a 4x4 area surrounded by cement patio but would like a tree for shade that does not have roots that will mess up the slab.
view the full question and answer

Enough sun from San Marcos TX
February 22, 2013 - I would like to plant both Lantana urticoides and Salvia farinacea in area that only has morning to 1pm sun..Will this amount of sun be enough?
view the full question and answer

Shade loving plants with color for Irving, Texas
July 01, 2010 - Looking for shade loving perennials or annuals with color - native and low water. Live in Irving, Texas.
view the full question and answer

Texas native shade plants for metal troughs in Austin
December 22, 2012 - Interested in finding Texas natives that would do well in metal troughs in the shade.
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