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

Planting under Pine Trees in Pocatello ID
April 08, 2014 - Hi I was wondering if you could give me some ideas of what I could plant under and near some pine trees for my area. The trees are huge and so it is also constant shade where I want to plant. Thanks f...
view the full question and answer

Native Plant Suggestions for Dripping Springs
August 02, 2011 - I have a very dry commercial property in Dripping Springs TX where the dry sand/dust isn't a good rain conductor (whenever we get rain). What can we plant there? We have no irrigation and use a rai...
view the full question and answer

Non-native Jerusalem Sage from Comfort TX
May 31, 2012 - I live in Comfort, TX. I have 3 Jerusalem sage plants that bloom beautifully each year. However, just the past week one has started turning yellow and brown. The leaves look withered and ready to die....
view the full question and answer

Native plants for under a pine tree in Vevay IN
June 29, 2009 - At our office we have a very nice garden however, in the front we have a large pine tree. We cannot get anything to take root & live there. Do you have any suggestions for a native shrub or perennia...
view the full question and answer

Problems with a Cercis (Redbud)
August 25, 2014 - Half of my redbud tree is pooped out looking. On two places on the bark are areas where a few layers of bark have pulled back. In these areas there are white growths.
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center