En Español

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

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 - March 30, 2006

From: Round Rock, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Drought Tolerant
Title: Low maintenance, drought tolerant, native plants for school garden in Round Rock
Answered by: Nan Hampton


Our school is about to plant a memorial garden but need very drought tolerant plants and flowers as the schools water very little during the summer months. What would you suggest? The district does not finance landscaping except to the extent of mowing the lawn.


Here are some recommendations for drought-tolerant species for your area. If there is some other particular plant you would like to see in your memorial garden, you can check for its drought tolerance in our Native Plants Database by selecting "Growing Conditions" in the menu at the top of the page for each plant.

Yaupon holly (Ilex vomitoria), an evergreen
Purple sage (Leucophyllum frutescens), an evergreen
Mexican plum (Prunus mexicana)
Eve's necklace (Sophora affinis)
Mexican buckeye (Ungnadia speciosa)
Rusty blackhaw (Viburnum rufidulum)

Deciduous Shrubs
American beautyberry (Calicarpa americana)
Fragrant sumac (Rhus aromatica)
Evergreen sumac (Rhus virens), an evergreen
Prairie flameleaf sumac (Rhus lanceolata)

Butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa)
Sundrops (Calylophus berlandieri)
Cutleaf daisy (Engelmannia peristenia)
Maximilian sunflower (Helianthus maximiliani)
Red yucca (Hesperaloe parviflora)
Gayfeather (Liatris mucronata)
Texas star (Lindheimera texana)
Barbara's buttons (Marshallia caespitosa)
Missouri primrose (Oenothera macrocarpa)
Prickly pear (Opuntia macrorhiza)
Foxglove (Penstemon cobaea)
Mexican hat (Ratibida columnifera)
Mealy sage (Salvia farinacea)
Western spiderwort (Tradescantia occidentalis)
Twisted-leaf yucca Yucca rupicola)

Please note that for the woody plants (trees and shrubs) especially, it may be necessary to do a moderate amount of watering until their root systems are established.

More Drought Tolerant Questions

Propagation of Blackfoot daisy seed
July 21, 2015 - I have a three yr old Blackfoot daisy. How do you root Blackfoot daisy seeds? When is the best month to grow these seeds?
view the full question and answer

Privacy screen for barn from Washington TX
April 27, 2013 - We live on a large ranch and have someone now next to us that built a barn on our fence line that we want to make a tree barrier to hide it, so we need to plant trees that will grow at least 15-29 fee...
view the full question and answer

Shade, Heat, Drought and Acidic Soil Tolerant Perennials for Las Vegas?
November 28, 2015 - What can I grow under my pine trees that is shade and heat (and acidity) tolerant? I live in Las Vegas, NV and would like perennials to plant under my pine trees.
view the full question and answer

Shade and Drought Tolerant Plants for Idaho Shade
March 18, 2016 - I am looking for plants native to Idaho and/or the surrounding region (zone 6 or 7) that would do well in full shade conditions (adjacent to the north side of our house) and meet several criteria: Max...
view the full question and answer

Perennial Suggestions for Under Ash Trees in Minnesota
June 12, 2013 - With our house we have inherited 2 ash trees in our front yard with a large amount landscaping underneath. I'm replacing the landscaping but there are tree roots at the surface preventing me from bei...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center