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?

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

Thursday - December 09, 2010

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Compost and Mulch, Planting, Shrubs
Title: Cenizo as a Foundation Plant in Austin
Answered by: Mike Tomme

QUESTION:

We live next to the wildflower center. We would like to plant "Leucophyllum frutescens". We are hoping to use this as a foundation plant. Will it survive if planted in Dec. Please offer any tips that would help to establish this plant successfully. What alternate Texas natives can we plant as foundation plants.

ANSWER:

Leucophyllum frutescens (Cenizo) makes an excellent foundaion plant. It is cold tolerant (though it may shed a few leaves when it is very cold) and should do just fine if planted in December. Two things to keep in mind though, this plant liikes it dry, it will will not do well in an area where it gets too much water, and, it needs sun, it can handle some shade, but not shade all day long.

In case moisture or shade are going to be a problen, here is a previous Mr. Smarty Plants answer that suggests other foundation plants suitable to central Texas.

As for planting tips, make sure you have a fertile soil with drainage characteristics suitable for you plant (you may need to amend with compost). Dig the holes larger than the root ball of the plant. Remove plants from their pots by manipulating the sides of the pots to loosen the soil from the roots. Never pull on the stems of plants to remove them as this might cause injury to the plant. If the plant is pot bound, you may want to cut and spread out some of the roots. Backfill the hole with some of the loose dirt, then position the plant so that the soil line from the pot is level with that of the ground. Use the remaining soil to fill the hole.

 

From the Image Gallery


Cenizo
Leucophyllum frutescens

Cenizo
Leucophyllum frutescens

More Planting Questions

Making a raised garden bed in Texas
October 25, 2015 - I just bought a house in Ft Worth Texas and the soil is undisturbed red clay. I was told I probably would need to build a raised bed to make a 25 ft by 4-6 ft butterfly/humming bird/bee native flower ...
view the full question and answer

Plants under oak trees
April 21, 2009 - I have a large live oak (actually several) in my front yard, which basically puts the beds at the foundation of my house in full shade. I tore out the builder-boxwoods and privets, hoping to plant so...
view the full question and answer

Sheet mulching before planting Habiturf from Grand Prairie, TX
March 03, 2014 - Have you tried sheet mulching as a bed prep and to kill bermuda grass before planting habituff?
view the full question and answer

plants for a rain garden's moist area in Central Texas
January 15, 2015 - I am looking for local natives to plant in the wet portion of a rain garden/bioswale. Can you help, please?
view the full question and answer

Need fast growing shade tree in San Diego County, CA
June 17, 2015 - I am looking for a fast growing tree that provides great shade. The reason being, is I need shade for three horseshoe pits and the sooner i get shade, the better. I live in San Diego county, zone 9b. ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center