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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Native alternative to tulips from Milford MI
October 15, 2013 - What could be a good alternative to tulips? I have not seen a native plant quite like a tulip (except a tulip tree). A good alternative should bloom in April or May and have showy flowers. I searched...
view the full question and answer

Source of Berlandiera pumila seeds from Coral Gables FL
June 07, 2012 - Where can I buy plants or seeds of Berlandiera pumila?
view the full question and answer

Evergreen tree for planter in Sherman Oaks CA
November 11, 2010 - We have a large cinder block planter, 6ftx6ftx6ft,in the back of our building and would love to find a good evergreen accent tree (but not pine like). Planter is near a building so preferable it shoul...
view the full question and answer

Plantings for a slope from New Carrollton MD
June 27, 2012 - My house (Maryland, near DC) sits at the bottom of a south facing slope. The soil is very heavy clay. The grade is about 1:20 for about 100 feet (with a steeper part at the top). Part of the hill is i...
view the full question and answer

Shade-loving plants for birds in New Jersey
March 25, 2013 - What native plants should I add to my property, Zone 6, to feed birds naturally? I have a heavily treed lot, so I'd like names of shade loving perennials. Seed or fruit bearing options would be gre...
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