En Español

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 Plant Lists Questions

Groundcover for Orange County, Florida
April 14, 2012 - I live in Central FL (Winter Park)and I have a small, mostly sunny (no trees) backyard next to a large in-ground swimming pool which fills up with the leaves of my neighbor's oak trees. The backyard ...
view the full question and answer

Native wildflowers for an Asheville, NC garden.
March 30, 2015 - I live in Asheville. I just bought a small home for the first time with a .22 acre yard. It's extremely sunny on the east side and gets good sun most of the day. Like most WNC area yards it's on a s...
view the full question and answer

Climbing Roses for the Pacific Northwest
January 23, 2016 - I'm trying to find out which types of climbing roses may exist in the Pacific Northwest. I live in western Washington, and I have a small yard with several large hedges bordering it. I'm growing hai...
view the full question and answer

Color year round, welcome to Austin Texas.
December 04, 2011 - I am new to Austin and want to plant colorful flowers for fall and winter that get a "wow" reaction. I have not seen much at the local nurseries. Any and all suggestions are greatly appreciated!
view the full question and answer

Flower sucession for Washington DC
June 18, 2012 - Interplanting to cover up spring ephemerals. When bulbs/spring ephemerals (camassia, bluebells, etc.) are dying back, their wilting leaves don't look so great. What can I plant to minimize the me...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center