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

Tuesday - July 12, 2011

From: Plano, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Container Gardens
Title: Native Plants for North Texas Container
Answered by: Brigid & Larry Larson

QUESTION:

What would you recommend for a large permanent plant for a large container (3' X 3') for Plano, Texas in the sun?

ANSWER:

Mr Smarty Plants is really big on natives, even for container gardening, but do realize that this is a different situation from the normal for the plants and for your plan to care for them.  A good primer for considerations for container gardening is available in the “How To Articles“ on this website.

So, what to put in the container?  Here is a list of recommended species tuned to North Texas.  It can be sorted by size.  I think <1 ft plants will be too small for the container.  A mix of 1ft plants might be nice and individuals of 6 ft plants will be of good proportions.  Plants that are much larger than that will soon be too big for the container.

The full list is available to you. So you can go directly to selecting your own by bringing up the recommended plant list and doing the sort.

My personal preference would be a yucca or bunchgrass that retains their configuration interest through the year. 

Hesperaloe parviflora (Red yucca)

Muhlenbergia reverchonii (Seep muhly)

 Yucca rupicola (Twistleaf yucca)

Muhlenbergia lindheimeri (Lindheimer's muhly)

And for 6 ft individual plants, Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry) is one that has longer term visual interest.  An attractive groundcover for single plants in a pot would be Dichondra argentea (Silver ponyfoot).

For 1 ft Plants, here are some flowering perennials that are at their peak from spring into summer, they might make an atractive mix, but the fall and winter will be less interesting 

 

Callirhoe digitata (Finger poppy-mallow)

Engelmannia peristenia (Engelmann's daisy)

Melampodium leucanthum (Blackfoot daisy)

 

From the Image Gallery


Eastern red columbine
Aquilegia canadensis

Four-nerve daisy
Tetraneuris scaposa

Blackfoot daisy
Melampodium leucanthum

Finger poppy-mallow
Callirhoe digitata

Red yucca
Hesperaloe parviflora

Seep muhly
Muhlenbergia reverchonii

American beautyberry
Callicarpa americana

More Container Gardens Questions

Why do the leaves of my potted Esperanza plant look droopy?
August 13, 2009 - My Esperanza plant leaves look droopy. I have it in a big pot and have for 3 years.
view the full question and answer

Ants in outdoor plants in Austin
July 30, 2011 - Live in Austin. The problem is THIS. Ants have invaded our outside potted plants- mandevilla, begonia , lemon tree and violas. The colonies are devouring the roots it appears. Please give suggestions ...
view the full question and answer

Non-native and invasive bamboos from Staten Island, NY
May 19, 2013 - Hi I put some black Bamboo and some bias Bamboo in a large container about 6ft by 2ft and ht 18 inches .How can I get this Bamboo to thrive ? Suggestions on types of plant food or fertilizer or ant t...
view the full question and answer

Arborvitae for house plant from Austin
August 15, 2013 - I am a Northerner transplanted to Austin, TX. While I love Austin it feels like many of the plants & trees I came to love up north won't grow here at all. Could I grow an arborvitae in my home as a...
view the full question and answer

Native plant for container on deck in Oak Grove VA
April 05, 2011 - What VA native plant can I grow in a container on my deck that will block the view from the neighbor's deck? I am thinking columnar. This is in full sun and gets hot winds off of a bay. The plant ...
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