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
4 ratings

Saturday - May 29, 2010

From: Fort Branch, IN
Region: Midwest
Topic: Shrubs
Title: Flowering and evergreen shrubs for landscape in Indiana
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I live in Southern Indiana and we are getting ready to redesign our front landscape. Currently, we have some yews and other shrubs that are unruly and require a lot of pruning and care. My husband hates to trim the bushes and I prefer flowering plants. We are wanting to know of some possibilities for low maintenance, flowering shrubs and evergreens or both in one plant. All I can find are azaleas and rhodos. Also if I chose mainly azaleas, what other greens would complement them? I'm even considering a dwarf tree of some kind as accent if it didn't get too large. Thank you for your help!

ANSWER:

On our Native Plant Database you can do a COMBINATION SEARCH by selecting Indiana from the Select State or Province box and then 'Shrub' under Habit (general appearance) to find shrubs native to Indiana.  We don't really have a way to search for evergreen plants in the database and Indiana doesn't really have a lot of native evergreen shrubs, but here are a few I found by looking at the different species pages of the Indiana native shrubs.

Chamaedaphne calyculata (leatherleaf) is evergreen and flowering, and here are more photos and information.

Juniperus communis var. depressa (common juniper) is evergreen, but not flowering, and here are photos and more information.

Kalmia latifolia (mountain laurel) is evergreen and flowering

Mahonia repens (creeping barberry) is evergreen and flowering

For native Indiana flowering shrubs that aren't evergreen, you can find quite a few on our Indiana Recommended list.  On this list are commercially available plants native to Indiana that are suitable for landscaping.  You can use the NARROW YOUR SEARCH option in the side bar to select characteristics important to you.  For instance. you can choose 'Shrub' in the GENERAL APPEARANCE to narrow the list.  You could also limit the results by making a choice in LIGHT REQUIREMENT and/or SOIL MOISTURE. Here are a few flowering plants from that list that aren't evergreen:

Cornus alternifolia (alternateleaf dogwood)

Dasiphora fruticosa ssp. floribunda (shrubby cinquefoil)  This shrub can be evergreen in some locations.

Physocarpus opulifolius (common ninebark)

Symphoricarpos orbiculatus (coralberry)

You can do a similar search for trees in the Indiana Recommended list.  Here are three smaller flowering trees from the list:

Rhus typhina (staghorn sumac) has blossoms, showy red fruit and spectacular autumn leaf color.

Prunus americana (American plum)

Cercis canadensis (eastern redbud) 

Here are photos from our Image Gallery:


Chamaedaphne calyculata

Juniperus communis

Kalmia latifolia

Mahonia repens

Cornus alternifolia

Dasiphora fruticosa ssp. floribunda

Physocarpus opulifolius

Symphoricarpos orbiculatus

Rhus typhina

 

Prunus americana

Cercis canadensis
 

More Shrubs Questions

Rose bush varieties and time to plant from Hutto TX
October 31, 2013 - What rose bush varieties are recommended for the Hutto Texas area and what time of year is the best time to plant into ground? Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Can I Grow Beautyberry
December 30, 2011 - Will try to be brief. Beautyberry sprouted leaves in vase of branches in water. It's NYC beginning of winter. Can I plant it outside? If not will it grow in a pot inside? Thanks. Happy New Ye...
view the full question and answer

Is a Texas Mountain Laurel too messy for swimming pool area?
November 24, 2008 - Our landscaper has recommended a Texas Mountain Laurel to plant beside our swimming pool. We recently removed Cherry Laurels from the same location because of the mess they made in the pool (especiall...
view the full question and answer

Problem with magnolias and yaupon in Prosper TX
May 13, 2012 - Problem with Little Gem magnolia - 3 little gems planted next to a fence, in Prosper, TX. Planted 3 years ago, 2009, one of the trees is now withering. The other 2 are doing fine, the one has leaves...
view the full question and answer

Pruning smooth azalea in NJ
July 12, 2011 - I have a Smooth Azalea growing in my woods. It was verified by the Master Gardeners of Burlington County New Jersey. It's 12 feet tall and lanky. Can it be trimmed in hopes of thickening up? If s...
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center