En EspaÑol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Need shrubs to replace Mountain Laurel beside above ground pool in San Antonio, TX.

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

Wednesday - August 08, 2012

From: San Antonio, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shrubs
Title: Need shrubs to replace Mountain Laurel beside above ground pool in San Antonio, TX.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

We are getting rid of a Mountain Laurel because it is 5 ft. away from my above ground pool I want to plant at the base of the pool about 20 inches away some nice evergreen. Do you have any suggestions on the evergreen bushes? I hate to get rid of the Laurel, but I know there will be alot of flowers in my pool and I worry about the roots coming up into the pool, is that a problem? Since we are in San Antonio it is hot so low mainteance is what I want.

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants hates to see Mountain Laurels Sophora secundiflora (Texas mountain laurel) of appreciable size taken out because of the time invested in their growth. I can see how the blooms might be a problem in the pool, but there is generally very few problems with roots since Sophora has a tap root.

To find evergreen bushes, lets look at our Native Plant Database which has  7272 species of plants to consider. Go to the Recommended Species Lists box, and click on View  Recommended Species page. Clicking on Central Texas on the map  will bring up a list of 156  commercially available native plant species suitable for planned landscapes in Central Texas. This list is too large, so lets go to the Narrow Your Search box on the right side of the page and make the following selections; select Texas under State, shrub under General Appearance, and perennial under Lifespan. Check sun under Light Requirement and dry under Soil Moisture. Click the Narrow your Search button, and you will get a list of 19  species for your consideration. If you click on the scientific name of each species, you will get the NPIN page for the plant that contains a description of the plant, its growth characteristics and requirements, and in most cases images.
If you go back to the Narrow Your Search box and substitute moist for dry under Soil Moisture, you get a slightly modified list.

Here are a few choices that may fit the space that you have. As they mature, some pruning will be necessary to help maintain their shape and size.

Ilex vomitoria (Yaupon)

Leucophyllum frutescens (Cenizo)

Morella cerifera (Wax myrtle)

Rhus virens (Evergreen sumac)

Another source of information about plant selection is the San Antonia Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas.

 

From the Image Gallery


Yaupon
Ilex vomitoria

Cenizo
Leucophyllum frutescens

Wax myrtle
Morella cerifera

Evergreen sumac
Rhus virens

More Shrubs Questions

Plant Suggestions for Shady Site under Trees in Alabama
April 03, 2014 - I live in Montgomery, AL and have a bare area (20' x 5’) that's shady and soil erosion is a problem. Grass stops growing at the drip line of the trees here. Do you have any suggestions for growing s...
view the full question and answer

Plants for church gardens in Ft. Worth TX
November 07, 2013 - Second attempt. Our church has many gardens in Fort Worth, TX. There are gardens for blue,red,yellow,white,purple,orange,pink,mixed,community garden,roses, and more. I am interested in the la...
view the full question and answer

Small shrubs for flower bed in Denton, Texas
September 16, 2009 - I have a small flowerbed that faces south on the front of my house. What small shrubs would be best in that situation?
view the full question and answer

Transplant shock in Vacccinum corymbosum (highbush blueberry)
June 28, 2007 - Blueberry plants - We planted Northland and Blue Crop, 2 of each. All 4 plants have some leaves that are turning brown. This starts at the tip of the leaf, eventually encompasses the entire leaf, a...
view the full question and answer

Flowering shrub for Jeffersonville, IN
October 18, 2010 - I live in Southern Indiana and am wanting to change some of my landscaping. I have 2 fairly large double pink (?) knock out bushes and another lighter shade of pink knock out bush. I am looking for ...
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.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center