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

Friday - August 26, 2011

From: Wichita Falls, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildlife Gardens, Xeriscapes, Planting, Grasses or Grass-like, Shrubs, Trees, Wildflowers
Title: Need suggestions for plants for a bird/small wildlife refuge in Wichita Co, TX.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

With our continuing drought in North Texas, I'm planning to transform my small backyard into a bird/small wildlife "refuge". What types of native plants and grasses can I plant in dry, hot Wichita County to provide food and shade for birds, squirrels, etc?

ANSWER:


That’s a good idea, and I hope lots of people follow your lead. Let’s do this in two steps; first go to our How To Articles Page and read the article “Wildlife Gardening". You might find some of the other articles interesting as well.

Next, I will introduce you to our Native Plant Database which contains 7,161 species of plants that is searchable by common name and scientific name.

There are several ways to use the Database, but we are going to start with the Recommended Species List.  To do this, go to the Native Plant Data Base and scroll down to the Recommended Species List box. Clicking on the map will enlarge it so that you can click on North Central Texas. This will bring up a list of 105 commercially available native plant species suitable for planned landscapes in North Texas. This is more information than you need for now, so go to the Narrow Your Search box to the right of the screen, and Select Texas under State. As you can see, you can sort through these names in various ways and get lists of different plants to use in your “refuge”. As an example, select Grass/grass like under Habit, Perennial under Duration, and check Sun under Light requirement, and Dry under Soil Moisture. Click on the Narrow Your Search button, and you will get a list of 9 possibilities. Clicking on the Scientific Name of each plant will bring up its NPIN page that contains plant characteristics, growth requirements such as soil type and pH, and water needs, and photos. Its important to match the plant's needs to your growing conditions.

Following this procedure, you can generate a list for shrubs, trees, cactus, etc by altering the choice under Habit. Changing your selections for Light Requirement and Soil Moisture will also change you list.

For some help closer to home, you might contact the folks at the Wichita County office of Texas AgriLife Extension Service.

 

More Wildlife Gardens Questions

Wildflower meadow for Arkansas
September 16, 2007 - We want to create a 1/2-1 acre wildflower style "meadow" using native plants that we can naturalize. I found information for our area (Central Arkansas) on this website that is helpful, but I am als...
view the full question and answer

Plant for hummingbirds shelter in Briarcliff TX
August 10, 2009 - I am looking to grow a container plant for the birds to enjoy on my back deck. A little greenery and possibly a place to rest for the birds would be great. This faces west and has no shade. There a...
view the full question and answer

Fertilizing oaks to produce more acorns
March 04, 2009 - What type of fertilizer would I use on oak trees to possibly increase growth and acorn production ? I have some flooded oak timber that is home to migrating ducks but there is little for them to eat.
view the full question and answer

Little birds for Little Rock
March 21, 2005 - I would like to plant flowers that hummingbirds and butterflies like. I live in Little Rock, Arkansas. What do you suggest?
view the full question and answer

Bird-friendly plants for South Texas
April 05, 2011 - Which are the best plants that provide food (perennials, shrubs, trees, and vines) to attract birds to my backyard garden? (I have water and cover and would like to make sure I have the 10 best plants...
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center