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 Shrubs Questions

Shade tolerant low shrub for Houston
September 28, 2013 - Please suggest a shade loving shrub that doesn't get more than 3' tall for a foundation planting along a front porch in Houston, TX. I prefer native, drought resistant if possible. No nursery person...
view the full question and answer

Plants to replace hydrangeas in a wet area in New York
July 09, 2010 - Dear Smarty, Two years ago I planted 4 Endless Summer Hydrangas in front of the front porch of my summer cottage on Saratoga Lake. The first year they struggled the second they are limp. Can you give...
view the full question and answer

Are Desert Willow Leaves Fragrant?
June 11, 2015 - I have a pink Desert Willow and have noticed that the leaves are fragrant; no flowers are yet present. I cannot find any sites that agree with this finding? Is this unusual?
view the full question and answer

Hanging Baskets for Batson, TX
May 23, 2014 - What plants can I put in hanging baskets for my shady porch?
view the full question and answer

Native Shrubs to Plant with Viburnum in New Jersey
February 11, 2014 - Please provide me with a list of native shrubs, plants etc. for New Jersey that would work with my existing native viburnum.
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