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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - May 13, 2010

From: Fairfax, VA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Shrubs
Title: Small evergreen shrubs for Fairfax VA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have a 2' wide 6' long strip between a brick wall and the front walk leading up to the entry way. Lavender has been a pain and I would like to replace it with an attractive evergreen alternate. Suggestions?

ANSWER:

"Evergreen" is often the monkey wrench our correspondents throw into their plant recommendation questions. In Fairfax County VA, at the northeastern tip of the state and in USDA Hardiness Zones 6b to 7a, we can surely find some shrubs native to your area that fill the bill, but the choice will probably not be large. You didn't mention how much sun this strip would have, so we could not enter that into our search specifications. We consider "sun" to be 6 hours or more of sun daily, "part shade" two to six hours of sun, and "shade" less than 2 hours. You will need to follow each plant link to the page on that particular plant in our Native Plant Database to find out what sun exposure is required, and what the benefits, propagation and growing conditions are.

In addition, if your space is only 2' wide, you don't want anything that grows too big, as you would have to constantly prune to keep the plant within bounds. We know of only one evergreen shrub native to your area that has a number of 'dwarf' versions that have been developed. Our Native Plant Database only includes plants native not only to North America but to the area in which the plant is being grown, but as the 'dwarf' is usually a selection of a shorter version of the plant, we will include links to some of those plants that have been developed into smaller versions. 

Small Evergreen Shrubs for Fairfax VA:

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (kinnikinnick)

Gaultheria procumbens (eastern teaberry)

Morella cerifera (wax myrtle) - links to information on 'dwarf' versions

     'Nana'

     'Stokes Dwarf'

     'Bordeaux'

     'Schilling's Dwarf'

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:


Arctostaphylos uva-ursi

Gaultheria procumbens

Ilex vomitoria

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More Shrubs Questions

Huckleberries and blueberries from Vancouver WA
April 14, 2013 - Can you plant a blueberry next to a huckleberry?
view the full question and answer

Shrub with red two-globed berries
June 15, 2012 - I am looking for the name of a red berry with 2 globes attached to each other on a plant with small soft oval shaped leaves.I live in Maryland and they are maturing now. These bushes are in the park ...
view the full question and answer

Hedge of native Purple Sage in Austin
November 20, 2008 - Hi, I would like to plant a dense hedge of Purple Sage that will hopefully grow from 6-8 ' tall and about 4' wide. I purchased the Silverado Sage Leucophyllum frutescens 'Berstar Dwarf' variety....
view the full question and answer

Foundation Plants for South Carolina
November 07, 2009 - What native plants are suitable as foundation plantings? My soil is heavy clayey loam with red clay subsoil. I live in Charleston County.
view the full question and answer

Information on Betonyleaf thoroughwort
September 04, 2008 - I purchased Conoclinium betonicifolium (Betonyleaf thoroughwort) at the spring 2008 LBJ WC plant sale. I've not been able to find much information on the plant in the typical places, including the...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center