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

Wednesday - July 20, 2011

From: College Station, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Herbs/Forbs, Shrubs, Trees
Title: Plants for a school garden in College Station TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I need to plant some things in my school garden. Green plants and plants with some color. Hardly ever rains here. Please give suggestions.

ANSWER:

First of all, we would like for you to understand that the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is committed to the growth, propagation and protection of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which those plants are being grown. The only plants we will recommend will be native to your area.

We would suggest you  begin by contacting the Texas Agrilife Extension Service for Brazos Co. to see what help they can offer you in understanding the soils you have to work with and times of the year to plant. Then, we want to direct you to a list of recommended species of plants for your area, which we believe to be the Blackland Prairies. First, read the paragraph at the top of the page and look at the color-coded Texas maps on the different ecoregions of Texas.

This will give you 265 plants that should grow in your area You can sort them to suit your purpose and the space you have by using the sidebar on the right hand side of the page. Begin by selecting Habit (herbaceous blooming flowers, trees, shrubs, etc), Duration (annual, perennial, biennial), bloom time and color, even expected height. The more detailed your selections are, of course, the more limited your selection will be, but play around with it and you should find some good lists. Click on the italicized link by each plant name and you will get our webpage on that particular plant, with pictures, Growing Conditions, Propagation and so forth. We can't give you a specific list because we don't know the actual conditions in your garden, but we will select a few examples, just to show you the kind of information you can get to guide your selection. We selected "perennial" in Duration in every case; if you want annual blooming plants, we suggest you check that.

Herbaceous blooming plant (herb) 95 possibilities: Coreopsis lanceolata (Lanceleaf coreopsis) - 1-3 ft. tall, evergreen, blooms yellow April to June, sun, part shade or shade

Shrub 23 possibilities: Dalea frutescens (Black dalea) - to 3 ft. tall, deciduous, blooms purple July to August, sun

Tree 50 possibilities: Cercis canadensis var. texensis (Texas redbud) - 10 to 20 ft. tall, deciduous, blooms purple,pink, white March and April, sun or part shade

Grass or grasslike 34 possibilities: Andropogon glomeratus (Bushy bluestem) - 2 to 5 ft., deciduous, sun

 

From the Image Gallery


Lanceleaf coreopsis
Coreopsis lanceolata

Black dalea
Dalea frutescens

Texas redbud
Cercis canadensis var. texensis

Bushy bluestem
Andropogon glomeratus

More Shrubs Questions

Plants for a windbreak on a slope in OH
April 20, 2011 - Have property at the top of a valley with a steep drop off. Would like to know native to NE Ohio ground covers, grasses perennials, and not too tall trees for windbreak that will prevent erosion. The ...
view the full question and answer

Need suggestions for a small tree for cemetery in NH.
August 30, 2012 - I would like suggestions for picking a SMALL tree for a rural cemetery in Winchester, NEW HAMPSHIRE. Would the delicate Japanese Elm be suitable for the weather, etc?
view the full question and answer

Evergreen shrub with fall color in Round Rock, TX
September 21, 2009 - I am looking for a shrub that has fall color much like the burning bush euonymus, but needs to be evergreen the rest of the year since it will be used as a foundation plant. Are there any plants that...
view the full question and answer

Drought resistance of non-native Abelia from Austin
March 14, 2013 - Are abelias drought resistant? I have a spot that is sunny from early morning till about 2-2:30 in the afternoon. Is this enough sun?
view the full question and answer

Poison Ivy in Semi-wetland Massachusetts
June 27, 2013 - You answered this question for Tennessee, but I would like an answer for a Massachusetts semi-wetlands area: What can I plant to discourage poison ivy, or at least make it very clear that it is poison...
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