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
1 rating

Thursday - April 29, 2010

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shade Tolerant
Title: Privacy shrub in part shade to shade in Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Barbara Medford's July 1, 2008 reply regarding Little Emperor Japanese Blueberry Tree is exactly my experience with cherry laurel in partial sun/shaded area in Austin, Texas. For 6 - 8' height sight blocking hedge, what variety would you suggest for Austin?

ANSWER:

For those interested, here is the  Previous answer. Shrubs for the Austin area that need part shade (2 to 6 hours of sun a day) and shade (less than 2 hours a day of sun) are going to find slim pickings. We live in an area with a lot of sun, and the plants native to this area are used to that. We assume you also want evergreen, for privacy year round. For Central Texas, there are 5 shrubs or small trees that fit those requirements. With the exception of Ilex vomitoria (yaupon), however, all require sun or part shade. We would think anything less than 4 hours of good sun would cause the  shrubs to languish. Even though it will mean not very thick coverage for a few years, about 5 ft. from trunk to trunk of any of these when they are planted would be the minimum.  Shrubs will often grow to nearly their height in circumference; that is, a 6 ft. tall shrub will spread out about 3 feet on each side, total of 6 feet. If their trunks are 5 ft. apart, their outer branches will mingle with each other with minimal pruning. Follow each link to the page on that plant to determine how tall it gets, what width it should be and what light exposure it requires.

Evergreen Shrubs for Part Shade in Central Texas:

Ilex vomitoria (yaupon) - sun,part shade or shade

Leucophyllum frutescens (Texas barometer bush) - sun or part shade, but will bloom better with higher percentage of sun

Mahonia trifoliolata (agarita) - 3 to 6 ft. tall, sun or part shade

Rhus virens (evergreen sumac) - sun or part shade

Sophora secundiflora (Texas mountain-laurel) - 10 to 15 ft. tall, sun or part shade.

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:


Ilex vomitoria

Leucophyllum frutescens

Mahonia trifoliolata

Rhus virens

Sophora secundiflora

 

 

 

 

More Shade Tolerant Questions

Native plants for partial shade in Pennsylvania
April 04, 2008 - Much of my growing area in Northern exposure, shade-partial shade once trees get leaves. I'm looking for native plants to use for screens and for ground-covers, grasses and edible plants.
view the full question and answer

Non-toxic shade trees for horses in Florida
April 01, 2009 - Looking for non poisonous shade trees for pasture with horses. Would prefer flowering or something that changes color. Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Hanging flowering plants in part shade in Denton, TX
September 18, 2008 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I'd like to hang 4"-6" pots with flowering plants from north-facing eaves. That area gets an hour or so of late-morning/noon sun. Also, my apt. faces a large courtyard so...
view the full question and answer

Deer resistant, shade tolerant plants for Austin, TX
April 16, 2007 - I am looking for plants to put in my front yard--very shaded, and need to be deer resistant. I would love some things in the blue family. Also want blues in my back yard that is a combination of ful...
view the full question and answer

Pros and cons of Hydrocotyl bonariensis as lawn replacement
March 22, 2008 - Want to convert lawn TO dollar weed! My Garland TX yard has become so shady over the years that I have a hard time with grass. A few years ago I noticed dollar weed in the grass which seemed to cre...
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