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

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

Grapeland, TX is NOT Grapevine, TX
July 25, 2013 - I submitted a question and today received my answer. I do thank you for this valuable service. However, I stated that I lived in East Texas in GRAPELAND, Tx. Nan Hampton answered me and said that a...
view the full question and answer

Native plants for shady small spaces in Houston, TX
June 18, 2006 - What are the best plants and flowers to plant in small spaces in an urban area in Houston, Texas? I have several flower beds that are 3 foot wide and 10-12 foot long that get half day sun. The area...
view the full question and answer

Groundcovers for Shade Under a Sweetgum
March 25, 2015 - I have 3 large sweetgum trees that produce so much shade each summer, and grass, even grass meant for shade, won't grow here. It's become a barren desert! I have English ivy but it only seems to gro...
view the full question and answer

Shade tolerant Wildflowers for Oklahoma City
April 16, 2012 - I live in Oklahoma City. I'm not in town very often, and am seeking low maintenance plants. I have MANY trees in my backyard, which makes it quite shady. I have raised beds amongst my rock garden ...
view the full question and answer

Shade plants for a childrens garden in Magnolia, TX
June 21, 2009 - What shade plants would be good to plant in a Children's garden at a learning center?
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