Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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
2 ratings

Tuesday - May 25, 2010

From: Tobyhanna, PA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Shade Tolerant, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Annual flowers for rocky area near driveway in Pennsylvania
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

What type(s) of annual flowers can I plant along a driveway in northeast PA? The soil is very rocky and the area is mostly shady receiving only morning and some late afternoon sun.

ANSWER:

In our Native Plant Database do a COMBINATION SEARCH and select 'Pennsylvania' from the Select State or Province area, then choose 'Herb' under Habit (general appearance), 'Annual' under Duration (lifespan), and 'Part shade...' under Light requirement to find plants that meet your criteria.

Here are a few examples from that list:

Bidens cernua (nodding beggartick)

Coreopsis tinctoria (golden tickseed)

Gaillardia pulchella (firewheel)

Rudbeckia hirta (blackeyed Susan)

Viola sororia (common blue violet)

If you think you could use perennials rather than annuals, you will find a larger number of choices available if you substitute 'perennial' instead of 'annual' for your search term.

Here are photos from our Image Gallery:


Bidens cernua

Coreopsis tinctoria

Gaillardia pulchella

Rudbeckia hirta

Viola sororia

 

 

More Shade Tolerant Questions

Vines for shade in North-Central Georgia
August 07, 2009 - I am looking for something to hide a 6' wood fence that will grow in almost full shade. I have an area approx 2 feet wide to plant in. Since the fence and planting areas are stepped -- about 8 feet f...
view the full question and answer

Darkened leaves on blueberry bush
July 02, 2008 - I have a blueberry bush planted in a very large pot. It has been doing very well, producing berries and new growth. All of a sudden the leaves have begun to turn dark. I have it potted in good soil...
view the full question and answer

Sedges and ornamentals for shade in Bastrop County
June 20, 2007 - I bought a home in Elgin, TX that was owned by an elderly woman. Most of the lawn is shaded by elm or pecan trees. In the sunny areas, i got native wildflowers to grow like lantana and coneflower,...
view the full question and answer

ground covers for shady areas in New York City
June 27, 2011 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants: What would be the best ground covers for big shady areas in New York City instead of lawns?
view the full question and answer

Deer resistant plants for Pittsburgh PA
January 30, 2012 - What shrubs can I plant on a wet slope that gets partial sun that will help control erosion? They need to be something the deer won't eat! We have lots of deer.
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.