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?


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 - November 26, 2011

From: San Antonio , TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Container Gardens
Title: Want to Grow Herbs in Pots on Balcony
Answered by: Marilyn Kircus


Nov. 20, 2011 I live in a large apartment with a front balcony. I was wondering what would grow well in pots and fresh herb this time of the year? And will lavendar work for a hanging plant as well? If so than what species and where can I find it in San Antonio, Texas? Thank You.


It sounds like you are interested in growing herbs on your balcony.  Mr. Smarty Plants only answers questions about native plants and herbs are not native.

However San Antonio has a Texas Herb Society.  You can find out about them at: http://www.sanantonioherbs.org/.

I personally have enjoyed growing herbs in Texas, both in my garden and in pots. Most of them need very good drainage and you may have to give them a special mix in your pots.  Most of them want lots of sunshine and need to be on the south or west side of your apartment. However, parsley will grow on the east or north side because it likes lots of shade.

A good book to read - your library may have it - is Herbs in Pots: A Practical Guide to Container Gardening Indoors and Out by Rob Proctor and David Macke.

You will really enjoy having herbs, provided you have the right place to grow them and give them the care they want.  

And if you want to expand your balcony garden to include some native plants in pots,you might like to read  "Native Plants for Container Gardens in Central Texas" and Container Gardening with Native Plants.  Some natives will grow in the shade, if you don't have enough sun to grow herbs.
You probably need to wait until spring in order to find plants, but you may find a few herbs, like rosemary, that are still available.  But this is the time of the year when gardeners dream and plan, so you have lots of time to curl up with some good books  or go shopping for pots.

More Container Gardens Questions

Overwintering Cardinal Flower in Thornwood NY
October 01, 2009 - I have 6 Cardinal Flower plants in planters. They have mulch on top to keep them moist. Can they stay in the planters all winter? Do I cut the stalks before winter comes or leave as is?
view the full question and answer

Wintering a Lemon Cypress tree in Eagan MN
September 29, 2009 - I Have a 2 1/2' Lemon Cypress Tree. I'm wondering if I can leave it outdoors for the winter, if not, how would I winter over indoors?
view the full question and answer

Care of a sedum indoors
December 16, 2007 - I have a coworker who has trusted her Sedum Burrito plant into my care because it is not doing well in her office. It appears to need repotting, as it is very crowded in the pot it came in and is dif...
view the full question and answer

Indoor lantana tree dropping leaves
November 06, 2008 - I purchased a lantana tree,a lantana hybrid that is only tolerant to 32 degrees. We are zone 5 so I brought it indoors and it only gets the morning sun, and 85%of the leaves have fallen off. The leav...
view the full question and answer

Indoor plants for El Paso TX
January 05, 2013 - I want to know what kind of plants will survive indoors in El Paso. It is so dry here, is there anything leafy or flowery that will thrive indoors in this climate?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center