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

Thursday - April 22, 2010

From: Mannington, WV
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Shade Tolerant
Title: Plants for dry shade in West Virginia
Answered by: Anne Bossart

QUESTION:

I live in Mannington, WV and I am wanting to do some landscaping. The area that I would like to plant in is very dry and gets little to no sunlight. I would like to plant something that will come back every year and is very low maintenance. I would also like to plant some kind of flowers for color. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

ANSWER:

Well, you are describing the growing conditions that are most challenging for plants and gardeners alike! But those conditions do exist in nature, so by choosing native plants you have a much better chance of success.  Because the plants are adapted to your area and conditions, they will also require little maintenance, but will still need to be watered until they are established.

Your plant selection will ultimately be determined by what you find in your local nurseries but you can start your wish list by visiting our Native Plant Database. If you do a Combination Search for West Virginia selecting dry and shady conditions, it will generate a list of 153 plants.  Each plant name on the list is linked to a detailed information page with images.  I find the process is simpler if I narrow the search further, selecting trees, shrubs, perennials (herbs) (and so on) to generate separate lists according to the plants I am looking for.

Here are a few plants from those lists that should work for you.

Shrubs 

Amelanchier arborea (common serviceberry)

Rosa setigera (climbing rose)

Symphoricarpos orbiculatus (coralberry)

Viburnum acerifolium (mapleleaf viburnum)

Perennials

Aquilegia canadensis (red columbine)

Campanula rotundifolia (bluebell bellflower)

Hepatica nobilis var. obtusa (roundlobe hepatica)

Lilium philadelphicum(wood lily)

Polygonatum biflorum (smooth Solomon's seal)

Pteridium aquilinum (western brackenfern)

Tradescantia virginiana (Virginia spiderwort)


Amelanchier arborea

Rosa setigera

Symphoricarpos orbiculatus

Viburnum acerifolium

Aquilegia canadensis

Campanula rotundifolia

Hepatica nobilis var. obtusa

Lilium philadelphicum

Pteridium aquilinum

Tradescantia virginiana

 

 

 

More Shade Tolerant Questions

Shade tolerant plant for Rodeo, California
November 02, 2008 - I live in Rodeo, California and I need to know what is a good green plant I can get to place in a shady area
view the full question and answer

Plants for a Septic Field in NC
August 14, 2013 - What kinds of low water plants can I plant over a new septic field in North Carolina? The area is part sun so I am concerned about having trouble getting grass started.
view the full question and answer

Colorful flowering plants in shade of live oak in Louisiana
November 29, 2013 - What colorful flowering plants can be grown near the shady base of live oak trees in the Deep South?
view the full question and answer

Plants for shade in Abilene TX
October 29, 2011 - I live in Abilene, Texas. I am trying to find the best plants to fill in an area on the North side of my home, which gets absolutely no sun. The area is sprinklered, and stays fairly moist. I really d...
view the full question and answer

Shade tolerant low shrub for Houston
September 28, 2013 - Please suggest a shade loving shrub that doesn't get more than 3' tall for a foundation planting along a front porch in Houston, TX. I prefer native, drought resistant if possible. No nursery person...
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