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

Monday - May 07, 2012

From: Port Allen, LA
Region: Southeast
Topic: Ferns, Herbs/Forbs, Shrubs
Title: Pool-side ornamentals for south Louisiana
Answered by: Guy Thompson

QUESTION:

We live in south Louisiana and are re-doing the plants around our pool. What are some low maintenance, small shrubs (flowering) or other ornamentals that would be good in this area?

ANSWER:

I can list quite a few suitable native plants for your area.  Since I do not know whether your pool is sunny or shady, you should read the info on each of my suggestions to determine whether it would suit your light conditions. 

First, a few shrubs.  Rhododendron canescens (Mountain azalea) will offer showy white flowers in spring, and Ilex vomitoria (Yaupon)(a dwarf variety) has bright red berries in winter.  Hamamelis virginiana (Witch hazel) flowers in winter, and Symphoricarpos orbiculatus (Coralberry) bears pink berries from fall into winter.

A vine worth considering for its late winter yellow flowers is Gelsemium sempervirens (Carolina jessamine).

Check the following list for native plants suited to your site:  Asclepias tuberosa (Butterflyweed), Athyrium filix-femina (Common ladyfern)Chasmanthium latifolium (Inland sea oats), Echinacea purpurea (Eastern purple coneflower), Hymenocallis caroliniana (Carolina spider-lily), Iris brevicaulis (Zigzag iris), Iris giganticaerulea (Blue flag). Liatris pycnostachya (Prairie blazing star), Lobelia cardinalis (Cardinal flower), Penstemon murrayanus (Scarlet beardtongue), Polemonium carneum (Royal jacob's-ladder) and Viola pedata (Birdfoot violet).

Check the Louisiana Native Plant Society web site list of local suppliers of these and other native plants.  Also, this  web site lists some recommended non-native plants suited to Louisiana.

 

More Ferns Questions

Identification of vine with red flowers, fern-like leaves
March 10, 2005 - Last year I saw a plant at the State Fair. It had small fern like leaves to it with beautiful little red flowers. It was a vine plant of some sort. They told me that it was native to the Hill Countr...
view the full question and answer

Native container plants from Hillsdale NJ
March 22, 2013 - Looking for suggestions for the easiest natives to grow in containers.
view the full question and answer

Winter hardy fern for northeast Texas
May 20, 2009 - I am looking for a winter hardy fern to grown around my deck. The area would get some morning sun but afternoon shade. What do you suggest?
view the full question and answer

Dieback of river fern and maidenhair fern in the Texas summer
August 28, 2015 - My river fern and maiden hair fern are dying back. I know it is hot, but they are in shade and watered regularly. The river fern is dying back from the tips. Any fungus or bugs I should be looking ...
view the full question and answer

Container plants for Arlington TX
February 10, 2012 - Mr. Smarty Plants, I just moved to Arlington, TX. I am trying to create a container garden on my apartment balcony. What flowers, herbs, vegetables, and fruit combinations can I put together that wil...
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 | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center