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
1 rating

Saturday - June 23, 2012

From: Fort Worth, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Container Gardens, Planting, Cacti and Succulents, Grasses or Grass-like, Herbs/Forbs, Shrubs, Trees, Vines
Title: Plants for 100 gal. pot by pool from Ft. Worth TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

What North Texas evergreen or combination of evergreen plants, bushes or trees could thrive in a huge, 100-gallon clay pot (immovable!) that is situated in full sun year round in an exposed area next to a swimming pool? Thanks!

ANSWER:

We have a How-To Article on Container Gardens for Native Plants that you should read. It doesn't directly deal with such a huge container, nor have we ever tried to design one. The first thing we need to ask is does the superpot have drain hole(s)? If not, that's Job 1. You probably can't roll it over to drill through the bottom, but very near the base and several spaced holes should do it. We can't advise you on how to do it, we're not into mechanical things.

Second, there are decisions you will have to make yourself, based on the depth and/or width of the pot. We would not suggest any woody plants that would produce a lot of roots. Those roots could, in time, crack and damage the pot and then you would have all the plants in the pot in need of transplanting at once.

The next thing you are going to have to do is decide on the soil to fill the pot. If it already has soil in it, it needs to be tested to see if it is alkaline, acidic, standard potting soil or what? If it is just native soil of your area, then it is probably alkaline. Certainly before you plant anything, you should add compost or other organic materials to make the soil looser and better draining.

One thought that occurs to us is that this pot would make a heck of a water garden, if it has not already had holes drilled in it. To consider this possibility, read our How-To Article on Water Gardening. When you read that article, you will learn that there are not very many plants for water gardens native to Central Texas, and some non-natives could become invasive. If you are interested in going in this direction, check out this link to the North Texas Water Garden Society.

But we digress, your specific question was for specific plants for your huge pot. About the best we can do is lead you to our Native Plant Database and give you some instruction in using it. Our normal method is to recommend plants native to North America as well as to the area in which the plants are being grown. In this case, we are going to refer you to the Recommended Species for North Central Texas. On the right-hand sidebar on that page, you can first select the Habit or General Appearance, then the amount of sunlight, even bloom time and color, and desired height of plant. We will give you one example of each, using the specification of Full Sun, and you can alter the specifications to suit your purposes. You should know that the more specifications you put in, the fewer possibilities will be given, or perhaps none at all. Follow each plant link to learn the preferred growing conditions, size, water needs and whether it is evergreen or deciduous. Since your pot is in full sun, ferns do not seem plausible for the space, and no subshrubs were listed when we looked for that.

Plants native to North Central Texas for large pot:

Herb (herbaceous blooming plant)-Echinacea purpurea (Eastern purple coneflower)

Shrub - Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. wrightii (Flame acanthus)

Small tree - Ungnadia speciosa (Mexican buckeye)

Cactus/Succulent -Hesperaloe parviflora (Red yucca)

Grass/Grasslike - Muhlenbergia lindheimeri (Lindheimer's muhly)

Vine - Bignonia capreolata (Crossvine)

 

From the Image Gallery


Eastern purple coneflower
Echinacea purpurea

Flame acanthus
Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. wrightii

Mexican buckeye
Ungnadia speciosa

Red yucca
Hesperaloe parviflora

Lindheimer's muhly
Muhlenbergia lindheimeri

Crossvine
Bignonia capreolata

More Shrubs Questions

Savannah Holly True to Seed?
July 03, 2016 - I read your information on Savannah holly. Does this mean that none of the berries will produce a Savannah holly (Ilex x attenuata) but will either be Ilex cassine or Ilex opaca seeds? Thanks so much...
view the full question and answer

A privacy hedge for a shady spot in Austin, TX
July 02, 2012 - What is a good choice for a privacy hedge in west Austin in a predominantly shady area? I'd like it to be 8-12 feet, along the fence, so as to obstruct the view of the neighbor's yard.
view the full question and answer

Hedge shrubs that attract butterflies & birds in Virginia
June 13, 2014 - Hi - I need recommendations for north VA hedge shrubs that attract butterflies and birds. Thanks
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

How to deal with suckers on Flame-leaf Sumac
May 20, 2013 - Hi! It seems you can have too much of a good thing! Our flameleaf sumac is taking over our yard. There are multiple shoots appearing in our flower beds and in the lawn. How do I get rid of the unwante...
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