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
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

Thursday - August 23, 2012

From: clayton, NC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Planting, Herbs/Forbs, Shrubs
Title: Need a good plant for Clayton, NC.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

What would be a good plant for Clayton,NC for this time of year. I would like for it to come back every year so I don't have to replant. I have several full sun areas that I need to cover in the front of the house and around my mailbox? thanks

ANSWER:


That sort of depends on what you want your plant to do this time of year; flower? produce fruit? change colors? You’ve indicated that you would like a perennial plant, so the next decision is whether you want shrubs or smaller plants (herbs).

Lets start by going to our Native Plant Database . Scroll down to our Recommend Species Lists and click on "View Recommend Species page". Click on North Carolina on the map, and you will get a list of 135 commercially available native plant species suitable for planned landscapes in North Carolina. This is too many for now, so go to the Narrow Your Search box on the right side of the screen and select North Carolina under State, shrub under Habit, and perennial under Duration. Check sun under Light requirement and dry under Soil moisture. Click the Narrow your Search button, and you will get a  list of 6 native shrubs for North Carolina landscapes. Clicking  on the scientific name of each plant will bring up its NPIN page which contains a description of the plant, its growth characteristics and requirements, and in most cases images. As you check out each plant, you can note its size, bloom time, and other features.
You can repeat the search , and this time select herb under Habit (leave all other selections the same). Clicking the Narrow Your Search button will give you a list of 9 flowering herbs for you consideration. As you become more familiar with the Database, you will find that there are several different lists that you can generate.

With a little perseverance, you will be able to pick the right plants for the right place at t he right time.
For help closer to home, you might contact the folks at the Cooperative Extension for Johnston County.

Here's a few possibilities:

Shrubs

Rhus aromatica (Fragrant sumac)

Rhus glabra (Smooth sumac)

Herbs

Echinacea purpurea (Eastern purple coneflower)

Monarda fistulosa (Wild bergamot)

Coreopsis verticillata (Threadleaf coreopsis)

Rudbeckia triloba (Browneyed susan)

 

From the Image Gallery


Fragrant sumac
Rhus aromatica

Smooth sumac
Rhus glabra

Eastern purple coneflower
Echinacea purpurea

Eastern purple coneflower
Echinacea purpurea

Wild bergamot
Monarda fistulosa

Threadleaf coreopsis
Coreopsis verticillata

Browneyed susan
Rudbeckia triloba

More Shrubs Questions

Identification of tree or shrub from Simms TX
February 13, 2011 - Thought you might have the expertise to help identify this tree/shrub? They were planted about 10 years ago and started in a pot about 2 feet high. I have photos but not sure how to send them to you; ...
view the full question and answer

Native roses and other flowering shrubs for Lufkin, Texas
February 23, 2009 - I would like to know some native blooming shrubs, and roses for my area. I have found that all of the old native plants have a greater success rate. I would like to find a white shrub rose for plant...
view the full question and answer

Shade Tolerant, Deer Resistant, Evergreen Hedge Suggestions for CT
April 30, 2013 - I think I am asking for a lot, but here we go… Is there a deer tolerant evergreen that can grow in the shade and create a hedge of 5 feet tall here in CT? I am not opposed to ivy covering a fence if t...
view the full question and answer

Plants for a sandy slope at a weekend cabin in central WI.
June 30, 2009 - I have a cabin in central Wisconsin where the soil is equivalent to a sandy beach. There are some areas that are nearly impossible to mow because of how steep the incline is. Could you recommend som...
view the full question and answer

Native trees or shrubs for privacy in Tonkawa, OK
April 30, 2009 - I live in North Central Oklahoma and I want to plant trees or shrubs along 100 ft of creek to create privacy. I would like them to grow at least 15 to 20 ft tall. What would you recommend for this l...
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