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
13 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

Need a privacy screen beside a pool in Las Vegas, NV.
June 15, 2012 - Hi, I need to plant a privacy screen fence next to the pool. There is only 4-5 feet between the wall and the pool. That leaves only about 2 feet for soil. What are my best options for non invasive r...
view the full question and answer

Problems with Green Cloud purple sage in Buda TX
May 30, 2009 - I planted the "Green Cloud" variety of purple sage about 3 years ago. Yesterday, I noticed yellowish dots on the underside of the leaves of some plants. Is this harmful? The plants seem to be ok ...
view the full question and answer

Plant similar to forsythia for Kansas City KS
April 11, 2012 - I want to plant a plant very similar to Forsythia. I want it to be tall 4-5 ft tall. Need something that leaf changing, something besides burning bush.Former area rose beds 4 x 4 (two areas) Right ...
view the full question and answer

Floristic Quality Assessment program in Texas?
January 19, 2009 - Do you have knowledge of a Floristic Quality Assessment program for Texas such as the ones used in Indiana and Illinois?
view the full question and answer

How can I distinguish between Wax Myrtle and Dwarf Wax Myrtle?
November 04, 2009 - I need help identifying between a southern wax myrtle and a dwarf wax myrtle. I am after the bigger type and think my landscaper accidentally put in dwarves. How can I tell? I had 8 put in and their l...
view the full question and answer

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