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
Not Yet Rated

Saturday - May 14, 2011

From: Georgetown, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shade Tolerant
Title: Shaded Trellis Plants for Georgetown TX
Answered by: Brigid & Larry Larson

QUESTION:

What native plants work well on a trellis that will be placed in an area that remains shaded most of the day?

ANSWER:

We have a few good candidates for you.  We did a search on the Recommended Species for Central Texas and then narrowed the search looking for vines that tolerate shade well.  It does depend a bit on just how shady your site is.  Full shade is considered less that 2 hours sun a day and partial shade 2-6 hours of sun a day.

 When I choose full shade, the search gave me two familiar species, the Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper) and the Parthenocissus heptaphylla (Sevenleaf creeper).  These will climb your trellis and tolerate shade well. Be aware that the Virginia Creeper is a bit on the agressive side, but then check out it's lovely fall color in the picture below.  Of course, you can follow the same search process if you’d like a herb or some other appearance.

                                             
Parthenocissus quinquefolia
       Parthenocissus quinquefolia        Parthenocissus heptaphylla

 When I instead selected partial shade, then there were eight candidates.  We've had Lonicera sempervirens (Coral honeysuckle) on our trellis and enjoy them.  There were also a few species of Clematis.  Good choices would be Clematis pitcheri (Purple clematis) or Clematis texensis (Scarlet clematis).

             
Lonicera sempervirens           Clematis pitcheri         
          Clematis texensis

 

More Shade Tolerant Questions

Identifying native sedges
October 14, 2013 - What's the best way to identify a specific sedge ?
view the full question and answer

Shade Shrubs for a NJ Slope
June 27, 2016 - I live in central NJ and have a 15' shaded slope behind my home with a creek on the bottom. The slope erodes a little every year and I want to plant native plants on the slope to stop the erosion. Wha...
view the full question and answer

Fast-growing evergreen shade shrub for Lincoln NH
September 14, 2009 - I need a fast-growing, shade loving evergreen shrub that will give us privacy and grow in and around some White Pines whose branches were pruned to 4 - 6 ft above the ground. The house is in Lincoln ...
view the full question and answer

Native shrubs or ground cover for north-facing landscape in Ft. Worth
March 23, 2010 - Need native plant ideas for a landscaping bed against the house facing north. Already has 1 Beautyberry but two others died of root rot last year due to incredibly high water table in our area. Old ...
view the full question and answer

Balancing bloom in beds in Kents Store VA
May 26, 2010 - Our beds along a walkway in rural Central VA have replanted themselves - oenethera speciosa and dwarf yarrow have abandoned the north bed and are flourishing in the south bed. Sedums, lavender and can...
view the full question and answer

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