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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.

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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

 

 

 

 

 

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