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?

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

Friday - October 26, 2012

From: Piedmont, SC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Container Gardens, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Winter plants for windowbox in Piedmont SC
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

What kind of outdoor window box spruss can grow in upstate South Carolina in the winter months?

ANSWER:

We are assuming you meant spruce; in a later note you asked for cypress or anything evergreen for a window box. First, we must tell you that both the genus Picea (spruce) and Cupressaceae (cypress) are largely northern trees, and none but Taxodium distichum (Bald cypress) grow natively in South Carolina. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, home of Mr. Smarty Plants, is dedicated to the growth, propagation and protection of plants native not only to North America but also to the area in which they are being grown.

The next problem is that all species of both of the above genera get HUGE. Even as a seedling, they wouldn't fit into a window box, and would quickly grow roots that would take the window box apart. So, let us teach you how to use our Native Plant Database

In an effort to give you the way to answer your own question, we went to our Native Plant Database and, using the Combination Search, searched on South Carolina, herbs (herbaceous blooming plants), evergreen and a height of 0 to 1 foot, appropriate to a window box. This gave us 7 possibilities, all of which should do well in  Anderson and Greenville counties in the northwest corner of South Carolina. You can follow each link to our webpage on that plant to learn size, care, color, etc. We might have been able to give you a more accurate list had we known if the window box had sun or shade, often a big consideration in the selection of plants. You can, however, follow each plant link to our webpage on that plant, and learn its water and light requirements. Not a lot of plants will bloom in winter, but if they are evergreen, they should still stay attractive in your window box.

Viola walteri (Walter's violet)

Phlox divaricata (Wild blue phlox)

Coreopsis lanceolata (Lanceleaf coreopsis)

Hexastylis arifolia (Littlebrownjug)

Hexastylis shuttleworthii (Largeflower heartleaf)

Mitchella repens (Partridgeberry)

Lycopodium digitatum (Fan clubmoss)

We suggest you read our How-To Article on Container Gardening with Native Plants.  A window box would, we think, count as a type of container garden.

 

From the Image Gallery


Walter's violet
Viola walteri

Wild blue phlox
Phlox divaricata

Lanceleaf coreopsis
Coreopsis lanceolata

Little brown jug
Hexastylis arifolia

Largeflower heartleaf
Hexastylis shuttleworthii

Partridgeberry
Mitchella repens

Partridgeberry
Mitchella repens

More Container Gardens Questions

Replanting a blue agave in Rio Rancho NM
January 11, 2010 - I have acquired a Blue Agave, approximately 4-5 ft high. It still appears quite healthy. It was used over the holiday season for display purposes in a liquor store. Unfortunately, the root ball has be...
view the full question and answer

Keeping bonsai plants alive in Athol MA
September 21, 2009 - For the past 12 years I have raised bonsai plants in AL and FL, but recently moved back to central MA. My collections consists of Japanese maples, ginkos, bald cypress and ficus benjamina. I have a ...
view the full question and answer

Need a source of mature horsetail plants in Memphis, TN.
May 06, 2012 - Where can I find mature horsetail plants in Memphis,Tn.? Need enough to fill a 6 foot long by one foot wide planter Need for it to look like it's been there forever.
view the full question and answer

Container Gardening with Texas Native Plants
February 10, 2007 - I live in an apartment in Austin, Texas and want adorn my balcony with a window box this spring. Could you recommend flowers that I could plant that do not need a lot of space to flourish? Also how ma...
view the full question and answer

Native plants for a lizard terrarium
October 24, 2006 - My brother is setting up a terrarium for his lizard and wants advice on some species to put in the tank. He wants plants that generally fit the below description. Can you think of anything fairly c...
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