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 - 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 Container Gardens Questions

Native plants for containers
April 22, 2008 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I have found the website very helpful, but have a few questions of my own. I recently purchased the winecup plant, phlox and cedar sage perennials. I have planted them in ...
view the full question and answer

Failure to thrive of potted blue-green cypress
July 26, 2008 - I received a small 14" potted blue-green cypress for Christmas 2007. Kept it in a bright window, not direct sun. It was doing great until two weeks ago when it started turning brown from the center. ...
view the full question and answer

Container gardening for pool in southern California
October 08, 2008 - I have large planters around pool would like to know what plants to use that will not grow to high or to big and will not have large roots home located in camarillo ca.
view the full question and answer

Small tree for container near pool in Houston
June 24, 2010 - Can you recommend a small tree that I can grow in a pot for shade? Looking for minimal mess because it will be near the pool. How big should the pot be?
view the full question and answer

Container plant in difficult sun exposure from Leander TX
June 06, 2014 - HELP!!!! I have a large Mexican terracotta pot on my front porch. This awkward area is facing westward, so receives the full dose of Texas sun after about 3 pm onward. Now here's the catch; my fr...
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