En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Drought tolerant plants for IN

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
1 rating

Tuesday - August 23, 2011

From: Indianapolis, IN
Region: Midwest
Topic: Drought Tolerant, Groundcovers
Title: Drought tolerant plants for IN
Answered by: Anne Bossart

QUESTION:

What are some plants that would do well in an east facing area near my front door? I live in Indianapolis IN. I need something that is drought resistant and will fill in a 4x3 foot walled off area that is in the nook created by my steps leading up to my bi-level home. Thank you for your help.

ANSWER:

In a small space like that you will want to keep it fairly simple but will want something that will be attractive as you enter your home. I would recommend choosing one shrub and then underplanting it with short perennials or ground cover.

Although you will ultimately be limited by what plants are available in your local nurseries, you can begin the selection process by visiting our Native Plant Database.  Do a Combination Search and select: Indiana, the plant type (shrubs and herbaceous perennials) and your conditions and your size requirements & preference.  The list has links to detailed information pages with images.

Some plants that meet these criteria are:

Shrubs

Physocarpus opulifolius (Atlantic ninebark)

Rhus aromatica (Fragrant sumac)

Symphoricarpos orbiculatus (Coralberry)

Vaccinium corymbosum (Highbush blueberry)

Viburnum acerifolium (Mapleleaf viburnum)

Perennials (less than 1 foot tall)

Fragaria virginiana (Virginia strawberry)

Hepatica nobilis var. obtusa (Roundlobe hepatica)

Maianthemum stellatum (Starry false lily of the valley) (this can be a bit taller than one foot)

Mitchella repens (Partridgeberry)

Viola pedata (Birdfoot violet)

Cornus canadensis (Bunchberry dogwood) (one of my all time favourites, but it requires more moisture)

Here are some photos from our image gallery:

 

From the Image Gallery


Atlantic ninebark
Physocarpus opulifolius

Fragrant sumac
Rhus aromatica

Coralberry
Symphoricarpos orbiculatus

Highbush blueberry
Vaccinium corymbosum

Mapleleaf viburnum
Viburnum acerifolium

Virginia strawberry
Fragaria virginiana

Roundlobe hepatica
Hepatica nobilis var. obtusa

Starry false lily of the valley
Maianthemum stellatum

Partridgeberry
Mitchella repens

Birdfoot violet
Viola pedata

Bunchberry dogwood
Cornus canadensis

More Drought Tolerant Questions

Long Island Barrier Beach Plants
April 22, 2013 - I live on the south shore of Long Island on a barrier beach and am landscaping my property as a result of Sandy damage. I am going with a sand base, and I am looking for suitable trees and shrubs for...
view the full question and answer

2012 wildflower forecast from Friendswood TX
September 29, 2011 - What is your current view of the 2012 Wildflower Forecast? What weeks might be best for someone traveling from Colorado to see our flowers? We are concerned about what the drought will do to the 20...
view the full question and answer

Perennial Suggestions for Under Ash Trees in Minnesota
June 12, 2013 - With our house we have inherited 2 ash trees in our front yard with a large amount landscaping underneath. I'm replacing the landscaping but there are tree roots at the surface preventing me from bei...
view the full question and answer

Shade tolerant Wildflowers for Oklahoma City
April 16, 2012 - I live in Oklahoma City. I'm not in town very often, and am seeking low maintenance plants. I have MANY trees in my backyard, which makes it quite shady. I have raised beds amongst my rock garden ...
view the full question and answer

Water-saving strategies of drought-tolerant plants
April 04, 2014 - Although "drought tolerant" plants are fairly well documented, it's clear that many different strategies are responsible, such as a huge root system (like Mesquite). I'm interested in learning the...
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