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
1 rating

Wednesday - February 23, 2011

From: austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shrubs
Title: Need evergreen, drought tolerant shrubs to plant next to driveway along property line in Austin, TX.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

Just moved to Austin, TX. What evergreen, drought tolerant shrubs could I plant by driveway, full sun, next to neighbors lawn. I don't want to mow, space is 3.5 ft. wide by 15ft. long. I thought about Elaeagnus or dwarf wax myrtles to flow natural keeping them trimmed to 2-3ft. high?? 2. Can I plant buffalo grass in the same yard as a thin St. Augustine? Both ends of the yard are barren right now and I would prefer the buffalo to overcome. Thank you in advance.

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants is thinking that a 3.5' x 15' swatch of grass doesn't seem like too much to mow, but I digress.

The genus Elaeagnus has several species that are variously called, Russian Olive, Silver Berry, and Autumn Olive. The species that is native, Elaeagnus commutata (Silverberry) , is a rounded shrub that can range from one to twelve feet tall, and has suckers that can form patches several yards in diameter. Two other species that are non native are commonly used as ornamentals and in windbreaks; Elaeagnus angustifolia and Elaeagnus umbellata.  All of these could possibly overwhelm the space that you have.

If you decide to use dwarf cultivars of wax myrtle Morella cerifera (Wax myrtle), here are a couple of choices.

'Dons Dwarf'  plus (more info)

Dwarf Wax Myrtle

Another shrub that you might consider is Ilex vomitoria (Yaupon). Here are three dwarf cultivars that are available.

'Nana'

'Schilling's Dwarf'

'Stokes Dwarf'

Checking our National Suppliers Directory can help you find nurseries that sell these plants.

For the Buffalo Grass Bouteloua dactyloides (Buffalograss) part of your question, I'm going to refer you to two of our How to Articles. One describes establishing a Native Lawn lawn of Buffalo Grass, and the other tells about a Multi-species Native Lawn.


Bouteloua dactyloides


Bouteloua dactyloides

 

 

 

 

 

More Shrubs Questions

Suitability of Carolina Cherry Laurel for Bulverde TX
October 24, 2012 - The local Home Depot is selling Carolina Cherry Laurel Trees. They look beautiful. Is this a good tree for Bulverde TX..20 miles north of San Antonio? Can it survive? Will it be a high maintenance...
view the full question and answer

Will shoes pick up American Beautyberry fruit and stain carpets?
March 21, 2010 - Do the berries from American Beautyberry fall on the ground so your shoes pick up the berries to stain the carpet in my house?
view the full question and answer

Dogwood under a black walnut in Mt.Pleasant MI
August 01, 2010 - Can I grow red or yellow twigged dogwood near a black walnut?
view the full question and answer

Native Streambank Plants for SE Pennsylvania
July 18, 2013 - I help manage a nature preserve in southeastern Pennsylvania. Along the stream the banks have been beaten down by a large number of visitors for their educational activities such as stream studies. Th...
view the full question and answer

Fast-growing shrub or tree to block dust from dirt road
March 15, 2009 - I live on a dirt road in Northeast Kansas. Could you recommend a fast growing, low maintenance shrub/bush or small tree that will form a barrier to block the dust from the dirt road? It will be plante...
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center