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

Failure of Viburnum dentatum to produce berries in Maryland
September 20, 2008 - I planted several Viburnum dentatum shrubs in a hedgerow for my yard. Although I have some other viburnums in the yard, this shrub blooms profusely but does not ever produce berries. What can I do t...
view the full question and answer

Final size of a Texas mountain laurel
August 11, 2014 - I have purchased a Texas Mountain Laurel. The plant tag says it will grow 25 to 35 feet. LBWF plant data base says 10 to 15 feet. Which data should I go with? It's either plant close but not close to...
view the full question and answer

Replacement for non-native Italian Cypress in Austin
July 10, 2011 - I would appreciate your assistance with some native plant options to replace Italian Cypress trees in the Arboretum area of Austin, TX. I have 12 of the trees on the north side of the house to obstru...
view the full question and answer

Combining native shrubs for hedge in Austin
April 15, 2009 - Smarty, Please tell me what the definitions are for all the various water, soil moisture, drainage and light requirements mean. Are the definitions global? I live in Central East Austin and inten...
view the full question and answer

Are Eve's Necklace seeds poisonous to dogs from Plano TX
May 09, 2013 - Are the seed pods on eve's necklace poisionous to dogs?
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