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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Sunday - June 18, 2006

From: Houston, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shade Tolerant
Title: Native plants for shady small spaces in Houston, TX
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

What are the best plants and flowers to plant in small spaces in an urban area in Houston, Texas? I have several flower beds that are 3 foot wide and 10-12 foot long that get half day sun. The areas would be watered every other day for 5 to 10 minutes.

ANSWER:

Here are suggestions for native plants that will do well in small spaces in partial shade in the Houston area. These are commercially available and should provide blooms in a variety of colors from early spring till late fall. They are all perennials or annuals that reseed themselves.

Pigeonberry (Ravina humilis)
Red columbine (Aquiligea canadensis)
Betony (Stachys coccinea)
Zexmenia (Wedelia texana)
Fall obedient plant (Physostegia virginiana)
Larkspur (Delphinium carolinianum)
Coreopsis (Coreopsis grandiflora)
Scarlet sage (Salvia coccinea)
Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)

You can search for sources of native plants in our National Suppliers Directory and from the Houston Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas.
 

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