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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Tuesday - March 30, 2010

From: Pflugerville, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Groundcovers, Herbs/Forbs, Shrubs
Title: Low growing, flowering evergreen plants for Pflugerville TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I am wondering if you can suggest some low growing, flowering evergreen plants for my garden.

ANSWER:

Before you begin, since you sound like you might be a beginning gardener, please read our How-To Articles A Guide to Native Plant Gardening and Gardening Timeline.

It's that word "evergreen" that causes us the most problems. If you want low flowering shrubs, there might be one or two that are evergreen, depending on how low is "low." If you want herbaceous blooming plants, perennials or annual, they are very seldom evergreen.  Another consideration is the amount of sunlight available where you want your garden. Some plants need full sun, which we regard as 6 or more hours of sun daily. Some need part shade, 2 to 6 hours of sun and some shade, less than 2 hours of sun. And some plants - flowers, shrubs, trees - can tolerate all three. About the best we can do for you is show you how to use our Native Plant Database to find plants with certain characteristics. You will need to follow the plant links to our webpage on each individual plant to see if it is low enough, evergreen, and what sunlight amounts it requires. Then, you can do searches yourself putting in your own choices. We do not have a search characteristic for "evergreen," so you will have to read the descriptions of each plant to determine if it is or isn't.

We are going to do two searches for you: one on shrubs and one on herbs (herbaceous blooming plants) so you can judge what you really want. These will all be native to Central Texas and should be commercially available. Woody plants (trees and shrubs) should be planted in Texas right away or not until Fall or late Winter, when they will be semi-dormant. Planting just about any plant in the heat of Texas' summer is asking for transplant shock and the waste of time and money in that dead plant. Perennials in bedding plants can be planted now, in the Spring, but annuals or perennials that you wish to grow from seeds should be planted in the Fall. You can repeat the process, making your own choices, changing the characteristics and so forth. 

Go to our Recommended Species section, and click on Central Texas on the map. We will begin our search by selecting "shrub" under General Appearance and "part shade" under Light Requirements. The other characteristics we will leave blank, for the time being. When we used this process, we got 20 possibilities, of which we selected 6 to use for examples. Hint: 3 of these are evergreen and 3 are not. We made the same search on "herbs"and came up with 39 possibilities, not one of which is evergreen.

Shrubs for Pflugerville TX:

Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. wrightii (Wright's desert honeysuckle)

Ilex vomitoria (yaupon)

Leucophyllum frutescens (Texas barometer bush)

Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii (wax mallow)

Pavonia lasiopetala (Texas swampmallow)

Sophora secundiflora (Texas mountain-laurel)

Herbaceous blooming plants for Pflugerville TX:

Asclepias tuberosa (butterfly milkweed)

Callirhoe involucrata (purple poppymallow)

Coreopsis lanceolata (lanceleaf tickseed)

Echinacea purpurea (eastern purple coneflower)

Melampodium leucanthum (plains blackfoot)

Phlox drummondii (annual phlox)

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:


Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. wrightii

Ilex vomitoria

Leucophyllum frutescens

Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii

Pavonia lasiopetala

Sophora secundiflora

Asclepias tuberosa

Callirhoe involucrata

Coreopsis lanceolata

Echinacea purpurea

Melampodium leucanthum

Phlox drummondii

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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