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
1 rating

Saturday - August 21, 2010

From: Marble Falls, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Container Gardens
Title: Native plants for poolside in Central Texas
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

What native plants would your recommend for poolside landscaping, and poolside containers? Tons of sun and white limestone patio.. Thanks.

ANSWER:

There are several tools to help you find your own plants to use for your poolside.  First, you can visit the Texas-Central Recommended page to find a list of more than 150 species native to the area that are commercially available for landscaping.  You can use the NARROW YOUR SEARCH option to select different criteria.  For example, you could select 'Shrub' from GENERAL APPEARANCE and 'Sun - 6 or more hrs' from LIGHT REQUIREMENT.  Here are a few suggestions from that list for shrubs that would do well in the sun:

Chrysactinia mexicana (damianita) is evergreen with yellow flowers and grows to 2 feet.

Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. wrightii (Wright's desert honeysuckle) is deciduous with red flowers and grows from 3 to 5 feet.

Leucophyllum frutescens (Texas barometer bush) is evergreen with pink-lavender flowers and grows 2 to 5 feet tall.

Cercis canadensis var. texensis (Texas redbud) is a deciduous large shrub/small tree with pink spring blossoms that grows 10 to 20 feet.

On the Recommended Species page you will also find a section at the bottom of the page called 'Just for Central Texas'.  You will find several collections there that offer suggestions appropriate for your pool area.  Sun Garden Plants for Central Texas has more than 70 suggestions, some of which also occur in the Texas-Central Recommended list.  Here are a few recommendations from that list:

Conoclinium greggii (Gregg's mistflower) is a perennial up to 2 feet tall with lavender flowers that attract butterflies.

Glandularia bipinnatifida var. bipinnatifida (Dakota mock vervain) is a long-lasting annual up to 12 inches that produces purple blooms most of the year.

Lantana urticoides (West Indian shrubverbena) is a perennial that grows to around 3 feet and has orange and yellow flowers.

Melampodium leucanthum (plains blackfoot) is a perennial that grows to 12 inches and has white flowers with yellow centers for most of the year.

Native Plants for Container Gardens in Central Texas is another list that will have useful recommendations for you.  Again, the plant species overlap with the two other lists mentioned.  Here are a few suggestions:

Dalea greggii (Gregg's prairie clover) is a low-growing (4 to 9 inches) perennial with small purple flowers.

Manfreda maculosa (spice lily) is an evergreen succulent that grows to 1 foot.

Salvia greggii (autumn sage) is an semi-evergreen to evergreen shrub with red flowers that grows 2 to 3 feet tall.

Tetraneuris scaposa (stemmy four-nerve daisy) is a perennial with yellow flowers that grows to 1 foot.

Here are photos from our Image Gallery:

 

More Container Gardens Questions

Blossom fall after rain on Polystachys lutea, Shrimp Lollipop
July 17, 2008 - I live in San Antonio and had previously bought shrimp lollipop plants and after the rain we had recently all the blooms fell off. So my question is did it die or should I just leave it alone?
view the full question and answer

Need suggestions for material to build a raised bed garden
February 13, 2015 - I am starting a raised bed garden but cannot find untreated railroad ties or landscape timbers. Does anyone have a source in the Austin or Dripping Springs area? I have tried McCoys, Home Depot, Natur...
view the full question and answer

Container plants for pool area in Killeen TX
March 08, 2009 - We live in Central Texas (Killeen). We want to put some container plants around our pool. (backyard with pool is all cement). We want some larger stuff, like maybe bamboo, elephant ears, etc. What pla...
view the full question and answer

Overwintering Cardinal Flower in Thornwood NY
October 01, 2009 - I have 6 Cardinal Flower plants in planters. They have mulch on top to keep them moist. Can they stay in the planters all winter? Do I cut the stalks before winter comes or leave as is?
view the full question and answer

Native plants for containers on patio in Houston
January 30, 2010 - What native plants in Texas (I live in Houston) will do well in pots on my patio- they get about 1/2 day sunlight. Is there anything shrub-like that will live from year to year? Thank you
view the full question and answer

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