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 - 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

Source for a soapberry in Pittsburgh PA
June 22, 2013 - Flower box Where can I buy a soapberry tree in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania?
view the full question and answer

How to germinate seed for Styrax grandifolius
October 18, 2014 - How do I germinate seed for the Styrax grandifolius?
view the full question and answer

Native plants for a barrier hedge
October 13, 2008 - Is there a native hedge I can plant to provide privacy? I have hostile neighbors behind me and would rather plant a hedge than put up a fence. I looked through the Virginia native species and didn'...
view the full question and answer

Need shrubs to form a barrier fence to exclude large dogs in Huntsvile, TX.
August 26, 2009 - I'm seeking shrubs to form a barrier fence to strongly discourage free-roaming large dogs from entering a property in Huntsville, Texas. The site is currently just a grass yard basking in full sun, g...
view the full question and answer

How to care for blueberries in Oregon
July 11, 2008 - New to oregon and to blueberry bushes - can you tell me the proper way to care for them - location-sandy, Oregon and unsure of which type of blueberry they are thank you
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
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center