En Español

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 13, 2006

From: Flower Mound, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Cacti and Succulents, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Native plants for full sun and low maintenance
Answered by: Dean Garrett

QUESTION:

I have volunteered to plant flowers/bushes around a sign at my church. I want to plant indigenous plants so the maintenance is low but I also want attractive plants. The soil is clay and the location is exposed 24/7 to the elements. I thought about the yucca but I don't know what other plants would work with it.

ANSWER:

Since yuccas usually grow in full sun and will not bloom in shade, the suggestions here will be for plants native to your region that need a lot of sunlight.

Yuccas

Arkansas Yucca (Yucca arkansana)
Pale-leaf Yucca (Yucca pallida)

Ornamental Bunchgrasses

Little Bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium)
Lindheimer Muhly (Muhlenbergia lindheimeri) - This grass is actually native a bit south of you, in Central Texas, but it should do well in North Texas if your bed is well drained.

Spring-blooming Perennial Flowers

Pink Evening Primrose (Oenothera speciosa) - pink blooms
Winecups (Callirhoë involucrata) - purple blooms
Foxglove Penstemon (Penstemon cobaea) - pink blooms

Spring, Summer, and Fall-blooming Perennial Flower

Greenthread (Thelesperma filifolium) - yellow blooms

Summer and Fall-blooming Low Shrub

Black Dalea (Dalea frutescens) - purple blooms

Fall-blooming Perennial Flower

Liatris/Blazing Star/Gayfeather (Liatris mucronata) - purple blooms

When you're ready to purchase plants, consult our National Suppliers Directory for native plant retailers in your area.


Yucca arkansana

Yucca pallida

Schizachyrium scoparium

Muhlenbergia lindheimeri

Oenothera speciosa

Callirhoe involucrata

Penstemon cobaea

Thelesperma filifolium

Dalea frutescens

Liatris mucronata
 

More Cacti and Succulents Questions

Starting yucca from seed from Austin
December 24, 2012 - I would like to start a soft leaf yucca recurvifolia from seed. Is that possible? Also, I've looked for seed on dried flower stalks, and I'm not sure that what I'm finding is the seed, and I ...
view the full question and answer

Growth of yucca from seed pods from Saginaw MI
October 05, 2013 - How do you grow a yucca plant from the pods? Do I need to dry out the pods first?
view the full question and answer

Trimming damaged leaves on agaves
February 05, 2009 - Some of the leaves on my agaves are damaged. Can I cut them off? If yes, how can I prevent the wound from becoming infected? Thanks.
view the full question and answer

Problems with claret cup cactus in Austin
April 07, 2012 - I have a claret cup cactus in a terra-cotta pot that bloomed beautifully a few years ago but hasn't since. This year, it set about a dozen buds and looked poised to bloom like crazy, but two weeks la...
view the full question and answer

Nightflowering plants native to Northern Illinois
October 12, 2010 - Looking for any/all info on night flowering plants that are native to Northern Illinois.
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center