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

A privacy hedge for a shady spot in Austin, TX
July 02, 2012 - What is a good choice for a privacy hedge in west Austin in a predominantly shady area? I'd like it to be 8-12 feet, along the fence, so as to obstruct the view of the neighbor's yard.
view the full question and answer

Native Evergreen for Shady Back Yard in IL
April 16, 2015 - I am looking for a native evergreen to provide bird shelter in my southeast facing small back yard. I would prefer a horizontal juniper but don't know if it could grow in the shade of the 8 or 9 matu...
view the full question and answer

Tree as shade alternative to carport in Austin
April 21, 2010 - Hello, I'm looking for a small tree that could provide afternoon shade for two cars, as an alternative to a carport. When mature, the tree would need to be tall enough to grow around (and above) the...
view the full question and answer

Hedge shrub for shade in Jacksonville FL
January 17, 2013 - Looking for shrub or hedge ( no Azaleas please )to line front of house that is full time shade in Jacksonville Florida ( something different, on the lines of tropical if possible).
view the full question and answer

Shrubs and other plants for shady area in Austin
March 22, 2010 - I am looking for what kind of shrubs, plants that I can plant under my very shady oak trees in South Austin. Soil is good, I want to have some lushness under my trees instead of dirt, I have a small a...
view the full question and answer

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