Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Saturday - October 29, 2011

From: Abilene, TX
Region: Select Region
Topic: Plant Lists, Shade Tolerant
Title: Plants for shade in Abilene TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I live in Abilene, Texas. I am trying to find the best plants to fill in an area on the North side of my home, which gets absolutely no sun. The area is sprinklered, and stays fairly moist. I really do not care whether they are ground covers or shrubs, what can you recommend?

ANSWER:

The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower has already-prepared lists of plants suitable to distinct ecosystem areas and soils in Texas. These lists can be found under the "Just for Texans" heading on our Recommended Species page. Each list includes a color-coded map of the state, and a description of the location, soil and climate of that area. There is always some overlap of areas, and if you feel we have selected the wrong area for Jones and Taylor counties, you can always visit some of the others. We feel it most likely that plants for the Rolling Plains of Texas would be most suitable for your area. When you follow that link, you will get a list of 189 plants of all types. Mr. Smarty Plants only recommends plants that are native not only to North America but to the areas in which those plants grow naturally. To find the shade-tolerant plants on that list, go to the sidebar on the right-hand side of the page. Click on "shade" under Light Requirements, and Narrow Your Search, which will give you a list of 18 possibilities. If you wish to specify other characteristics, such as Habit (tree, grass, herbaceous blooming plant) this will narrow your selection dowm even more.

You will probably find the lack of sunlight to be the biggest limitation to your choice, but we will suggest a few plants from the list for consideration:

Coreopsis lanceolata (Lanceleaf coreopsis)

Lobelia cardinalis (Cardinal flower)

Rhus glabra (Smooth sumac)

Ruellia nudiflora (Violet ruellia)

Sorghastrum nutans (Indiangrass)

Symphyotrichum subulatum (Baby's breath aster)

 

 

 

From the Image Gallery


Lanceleaf coreopsis
Coreopsis lanceolata

Cardinal flower
Lobelia cardinalis

Smooth sumac
Rhus glabra

Violet ruellia
Ruellia nudiflora

Indiangrass
Sorghastrum nutans

Baby's breath aster
Symphyotrichum subulatum

More Shade Tolerant Questions

Native grasses for shade in Dallas
November 30, 2008 - What native grasses can be grown under large Live Oaks in the Dallas Area? The combination of shade and black gumbo soil seem to keep all plant life, except for poison ivy and ferns, out. I would lo...
view the full question and answer

Competition between Horseherb and Chickweed
July 04, 2014 - Ok, sorry I did it wrong the 1st time!? I live in Houston, and I have chickens! I also have mass amounts of Horseherb, and I want to buy some chickweed seeds and plant it for my chickens! My question ...
view the full question and answer

Small, drought and shade-tolerant perennials for Austin, Texas
March 22, 2010 - We need suggestions for small, drought- and shade-tolerant perennials to be planted in Austin, Texas, please.
view the full question and answer

Native turkscap failing to thrive in Shiro TX
March 19, 2013 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, Two years ago I transplanted several native (not cultivars) Drummond's turkscaps in the proximity of water oaks in the front yard. All get shade and some sun. They seemed to ...
view the full question and answer

Colorful native plants for oak tree shade in Houston
August 26, 2009 - I live in Houston Tx - our subdivision entrance has many oak trees. We cannot find anything that will "stay alive" around these trees. It is mostly shady, but gets a slight bit of sunlight. we wo...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.