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
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - July 01, 2010

From: San Angelo, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Container Gardens, Shrubs
Title: Native small tree or shrub for container in San Angelo, Texas
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

We live in San Angelo TX and are looking for some type of a bush/tree that will grow in a pot in a shaded area..we would like something that would grow to be about 5-6 feel tall and be rather narrow..no more than 3-foot wide. This would be for our front entry area. What might you recommend?

ANSWER:

First of all, I suggest that you read our How to Article, Container Gardening with Native Plants, with information about establishing and maintaining your container shrub.  One thing you should keep in mind is that plants in containers are more susceptible to freezing temperatures than those that are planted in the ground.  Their roots don't have the insulation of the soil to protect them.  You will need to remember to protect them during extreme cold.

Sorry, but we aren't going to be able recommend shrubs/small trees that exactly meet your criteria.  Some of the ones below reach a maximum height that exceeds your requirements, but they generally grow slowly and can be pruned.  Their shape may not naturally be what you are looking for (slender); but, for any of them, you can do some judicious pruning to keep them narrow enough for your purposes.  Some of them don't do well in heavy shade but will work in partial shade.  Although you don't say so, I suspect that you are looking for an evergreen tree/shrub to stand by your door, so here are evergreen possibilities for shrubs/small trees native to your area of Texas:

Ilex vomitoria (yaupon) will grow in sun, part shade and shade; here is more information.

Leucophyllum frutescens (Texas barometer bush) will grow in sun and part shade; here is more information.

Rhus virens (evergreen sumac) will grow in sun and part shade; here is more information.

Juniperus ashei (Ashe's juniper) grows in sun and part shade; here is more information.

Juniperus pinchotii (Pinchot's juniper) grows in sun and part shade; here is more information.

Juniperus virginiana (eastern redcedar) will grow in sun, part shade and shade; here is more information.

Sophora secundiflora (Texas mountain-laurel) grows in sun and part shade; here is more information.


Ilex vomitoria

Leucophyllum frutescens

Rhus virens

Juniperus ashei

Juniperus pinchotii

Juniperus virginiana

Sophora secundiflora
 

More Shrubs Questions

Irrigation of landscaping project after 1 year in San Antonio
November 10, 2010 - Hello, I am working on a project in San Antonio where the following vegetation types have been specified: cedar elm, bald cypress, 'Tifway 419' bermuda grass, mountain laurel, esperanza, and lantana...
view the full question and answer

Fast-growing non-invasive shrub for privacy fence in Sugar Land TX
December 06, 2011 - I live in South Texas in Sugar Land. I was going to plant oleanders in my backyard along the fence as a privacy hedge, about 20 feet from my house. However, I was told they were a bad choice becaus...
view the full question and answer

Does Helasia diptera absorb toxic substances from Dover Plains NY
March 09, 2012 - Dear Mr. Plants, Halesia carolina is described as absorbing toxic substances: herbicides, pesticides and pollutants from water, air and soil. Does Halesia diptera do the same? Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Esperanza failing to bloom in Odessa TX
September 01, 2009 - I have 3 Esperanza plants that have not bloomed this spring/summer. I live in Odessa, TX. We had about 5 inches of rain in July in one week (very unusual), but they have not bloomed-before or after. ...
view the full question and answer

Texas Mountain Laurel oozing sap in Spicewood, TX.
July 05, 2012 - We have a Texas mountain laurel that seems to be sweating. Oozing sap with no apparent signs of any type of bore holes, or holes made from any birds.
view the full question and answer

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