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?


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 - May 04, 2010

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shade Tolerant
Title: Need plants with red flowers to grow in shaded area in yard in Austin.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills


I have a shaded area where all the shrubs die. I would like to plant some flowers there instead of shrubs. What red flower plants can sustain a lot of shade.


You might want to explore what factors are causing the death of your shrubs: too wet, too dry, too shady? What kind of plants are providing the shade?

In the mean time, let me introduce you to an exercise called "Combination Search".  Go to our Native Plant Database  and scroll down to the Combination Search window. Select Texas under Select State, Herb under Habit, and Perennial under Duration. Under light requirement, check Part Shade or Shade (which ever applies); check Dry under soil moisture; and check red under flower color. Click the "Submit combination Search" button and you will get a list of plants from our NPIN data base with images  that match these characteristics. By clicking on the name of each plant, you will pull up its NPIN page that contains descriptions of the plants along with growth requirements as well as more images. You can generate other lists by changing the choice in the categories.

Here is a short list of red-flowered plants that I found.

Aquilegia canadensis (red columbine)

Nyctaginia capitata (devil's bouquet)

Salvia coccinea (blood sage)

Salvia roemeriana (cedar sage)

Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii (wax mallow)  aka.  Turk's Cap

Aquilegia canadensis

Salvia coccinea

Salvia roemeriana


Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii

More Shade Tolerant Questions

Deer resistant, shade tolerant foundation plants for Kerrville TX
March 30, 2013 - I'm looking for foundation plants for shade that are deer resistant. Tall as well as medium height.
view the full question and answer

Plant for total shade in Austin Texas
November 18, 2013 - Most of north wall of my house is in total shade. Is there a native that will grow there? The nonnative Cast Iron Plant is thriving and the soil is good. Your list of plants requiring 2 hours or less ...
view the full question and answer

Partial shade plants for underneath ash tree in Tarrant County, Texas
April 20, 2011 - I have a BIG Ash Tree in my front yard that blocks out most afternoon sun. I generally get morning and evening sun. I am looking for something to plant around the base of the tree so my yard doesn'...
view the full question and answer

Plants for a mixed border in Houston
February 22, 2010 - I live in Houston and have a flowerbed I'd like to fill with plants that will look good year-round. The back is already lined with 6-foot shrubs so nothing like that. I'd like something with colorf...
view the full question and answer

How to stabilize a slope under Red Oaks?
March 19, 2013 - A portion our front "yard" (20x40 feet) is a limestone hillside shaded by 3 large spanish oaks. The small amount of grass holding onto the hillside is now gone from the drought, and the hill has er...
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.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center