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
Not Yet Rated

Friday - May 27, 2011

From: cadiz, KY
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Shrubs
Title: Shrubs to grow in a narrow area no taller than 3 ft. in Cadiz, KY.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

I need to plant shrubs in a narrow area between my house and sidewalk. I have a low porch so I want the shrub to grow no taller than 3 ft. What do you recommend? It is in full sun.

ANSWER:

 

Well let me introduce you to our Native Plant Database that can help with finding plants for particular situations. One way of using the Database is to go to the Recommended Species Lists. Click on View Recommended Species Page, and then click on Kentucky on the map. This will bring up 122 commercially available native plant species suitable for planned landscapes in Kentucky. This is more information than you need, so go to the Narrow Your Search box to the right of the window and make the following selections: select Kentucky under State, Shrub under habit, and Perennial under duration. Check Sun under Light Requirement, Moist under Soil Moisture, and 3-6 under Height. Click on the Narrow Your Search button and the list is reduced to six. Clicking on the scientific name of each plant will bring up its NPIN page that has plant characteristics, growth requirements and photos. These can help you select plants suitable for your location.

Another approach is to use the Combination Search Box on the Database page. It works similarly, so make the same selections as before and click on the Submit Combination Search button. In this case, the results are close to the same.

Here are a few possibilities that I gleaned from such a search:

Ilex vomitoria (Yaupon)   (dwarf varieties)

Photinia pyrifolia (Red chokeberry)

Vaccinium corymbosum (Highbush blueberry)     (dwarf varieties)    

Symphoricarpos albus (Common snowberry)

Now these shrubs, or any other that you select, are not going to stop growing at three feet. The shape of the plant, height and width, will be influenced by careful and thoughtful pruning. This link to Purdue University will help you accomplish this.


Ilex vomitoria


Ilex vomitoria


Photinia pyrifolia


Vaccinium corymbosum


Symphoricarpos albus

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More Shrubs Questions

Drought resistant plants or flowering shrubs with pink flowers
September 15, 2006 - I need a hardy, drought resistant flower or flowering shrub for my renter, who likes pink flowers. She doesn't remember to water and most likely won't do any weeding. Area is Corinth, TX.
view the full question and answer

Trimming American beautyberry in Austin
December 20, 2009 - I have recently developed an interest in plants and since I work for a country club taking care of all the House & Grounds Maintenance, the landscaping is certainly a part of my work. I have a questi...
view the full question and answer

Trimming of Pineapple Sage and Salvia Greggii
October 07, 2007 - I live in Central Austin. My question is: When is the best time to trim back Pineapple Sage and Salvia Gregii? How far back should these plants be trimmed?
view the full question and answer

Toxicity of non-native red-tip photinia to fish from Friendswood TX
April 10, 2013 - Mr. Smarty Plants, I have seen several questions on Red Tip Photinia (RTP) concerning toxicity to horses, dogs and children. We recently lost over 100 gold fish and 6 large KOI in our man made back ...
view the full question and answer

Desert or littleleaf sumac (Rhus microphylla) on Texas State Capitol grounds
May 07, 2007 - I am trying to find out what kinds of plants are planted on the Texas State Capitol Grounds. There is a bush that grows around the Capitol Extension windows area and I don't know what they are. The...
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