En EspaŅol

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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
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


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?


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 Herbs/Forbs Questions

Frost damage to native plants in Austin
December 19, 2011 - Hello, We bought a number of native plants at this fall's WFC sale and planted them. The recent frost seems to have defoliated our pitcher sage, beautyberry, butterflyweed, and flame acanthus plan...
view the full question and answer

Perennial Suggestions for Under Ash Trees in Minnesota
June 12, 2013 - With our house we have inherited 2 ash trees in our front yard with a large amount landscaping underneath. I'm replacing the landscaping but there are tree roots at the surface preventing me from bei...
view the full question and answer

Pruning of native perennial blooming plants
March 22, 2008 - Hello - I am still a newbie at using Native Texas plants (but loving them!), and I need pruning assistance. When (and how much) do I prune: hot lips salvia, hummingbird bush (anisthcanthus wrightii...
view the full question and answer

Skunk cabbage from Amsterdam NY
May 02, 2012 - Will skunk cabbage grow under a mobile home and cause odor?
view the full question and answer

Ground cover for Brooklyn, NY
January 25, 2013 - Hi Mr Smarty Plants, I'm looking for a fast growing ground cover for my Brooklyn, NY back yard. The area is nestled between 3 buildings and a fairly large tree, so most of the day its shady, but ...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center