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
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

Monday - April 05, 2010

From: Pflugerville, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shade Tolerant, Shrubs, Trees
Title: Philadelphus ernestii under live oak in Pflugerville TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Will Philadelphus ernestii thrive in the root zone of live oak, or would the oak inhibit its growth? I'd like to plant it just at the edge of the canopy.

ANSWER:

Philadelphus ernestii (canyon mock orange) is endemic to a small area of the Edwards Plateau, but widely cultivated, which may save it. In fact, it will be on sale at our Wildflower Center Plant Sale this weekend, April 10-11. In terms of whether it will grow in the root zone of a live oak, we simply can't say. Oaks are one of the trees that have allelopathic qualities. This article from Central Texas Tree Experts What is Allelopathy? will give you some insight into the fact that some trees do not permit some plants to compete with them. Unfortunately, we have no way of knowing which plants the oak tree might tolerate under its dripline and which it won't. You will have to make your own decision on whether to experiment with one or two or not take a chance and plant them somewhere else.

From our page on this plant in the Native Plant Database:

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low , Medium
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist , Dry
Drought Tolerance: Medium
Conditions Comments: Almost evergreen plant for shaded and protected locations. Flowers smell like orange blossoms making it an excellent plant near outside living areas. Plant 3 to 4 feet apart in well drained soil. Deer browse this shrub so it must be protected.

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:


Philadelphus ernestii

Philadelphus ernestii

 

 

 

 

 

More Shade Tolerant Questions

Native plants for small pots in sun in Austin
January 24, 2011 - Hello Mr. Smarty Plants! We are renting our house, so while we have a yard, the landlord would prefer us to only add plants to his landscaping in pots. I have filled some large ones, but have been una...
view the full question and answer

Plants for a condo garden in Decatur GA
February 12, 2009 - I recently moved into a condo in Decatur (just outside Atlanta). I am now working on the back yard - just a patio and dirt right now. It is a small space and is shaded much of the day but does get s...
view the full question and answer

Plant Suggestions for Shady Site under Trees in Alabama
April 03, 2014 - I live in Montgomery, AL and have a bare area (20' x 5’) that's shady and soil erosion is a problem. Grass stops growing at the drip line of the trees here. Do you have any suggestions for growing s...
view the full question and answer

Deer resistant plants for Pittsburgh PA
January 30, 2012 - What shrubs can I plant on a wet slope that gets partial sun that will help control erosion? They need to be something the deer won't eat! We have lots of deer.
view the full question and answer

Shade tolerant vines for Mobile AL
May 07, 2013 - I am looking for an evergreen vine that will thrive in the shade in hot and humid south Alabama. I plan to plant on a trellis. A flowering vine would be even better.
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