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?


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

Wednesday - July 28, 2010

From: Newport, NC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Container Gardens
Title: Salt and wind tolerant plants for small containers in NC
Answered by: Nan Hampton


We need two plants that will go in raised planters. Will be in full sun with lots of wind. Salt water nearby. Will have to keep plants sorta short I guess. We cannot find anything, although we see salt resistant, but they grow too big for a planter which is 12" tall, 9" deep, 11" across the top and tapers down to about 6". CAN YOU HELP SUGGEST ANYTHING. We are old and stupid!! Thanx!


Mr. Smarty Plants consulted two lists of salt tolerant plants, Salt Tolerant Plants for Florida from the University of Florida IFAS Extension and Salt Tolerant Plants from North Carolina Cooperative Extension, and found the following plants that have at least moderate salt tolerance and are reasonably short to withstand the wind.  You might find others on the list that you like, but please be aware that many of the plants in these two lists are introduced plants that aren't native to North Carolina nor to North America.  If you see a plant that interests you on the list that I didn't recommend, please check in our Native Plant Database.  If you find it there, you can be assured that it is native to North America and you can check the DISTRIBUTION section on the species page to see if it is native to North Carolina.


Phyla nodiflora (turkey tangle fogfruit)

Dichondra carolinensis (Carolina ponysfoot)

Portulaca pilosa (kiss me quick)


Teucrium canadense (Canada germander)

Muhlenbergia capillaris (hairawn muhly)

Panicum amarum (bitter panicgrass) and here are photos.

Gaillardia pulchella (firewheel)

Opuntia humifusa (devil's-tongue)

Zamia pumila ssp. pumila (coontie) and here are more photos and information.

Here are photos from our Image Gallery:

Phyla nodiflora

Dichondra carolinensis

Portulaca pilosa

Teucrium canadense

Muhlenbergia capillaris

Gaillardia pulchella

Opuntia humifusa

Zamia pumila ssp. pumila






More Container Gardens Questions

Plants for dry containers in Dallas
March 01, 2010 - I have four, rectangular, low to the ground, clay pots on either side of my garage. They face the west and I usually forget to water them. Cactus worked but I planted the kind with thorns! Any ideas...
view the full question and answer

Protecting hibiscus from cold in Eastern Washington State
July 28, 2006 - I recently purchased a Hibiscus Brilliant Red. I planted it in an area of my garden that will give it full sun for most of the day. In the Pacific Northwest where I live (Eastern Washington) it can ge...
view the full question and answer

Planter boxes on a roof deck in Boston MA
May 20, 2013 - What will grow in planter boxes on a roof deck in Boston ma? We are planning to make our own planters to sit on the framing "outside" our deck rail. We have 4 ft from the rail to the edge of the ho...
view the full question and answer

Moving houseplants from New York to Florida
August 02, 2011 - We are relocating to Florida from New York and would like to bring our houseplants with us. Are there any laws forbidding indoor plant transport into Florida???
view the full question and answer

Plants for low light in Houston
April 21, 2009 - I moved from a home in New Jersey to an apartment in Houston, TX -inside court - low light. I can't keep houseplants alive., What do you recommend that I try here? Both inside the apartment and on ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center