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

Saturday - December 22, 2012

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Container Gardens, Shade Tolerant, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Texas native shade plants for metal troughs in Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Interested in finding Texas natives that would do well in metal troughs in the shade.

ANSWER:

Okay, here's the thing - We can give you a link to our How-To Article on Container Gardening with Native Plants, we can give you instructions to do a search on our Native Plant Database for shade plants native to Central Texas, we can even help you with the kind of soil you need for the plants you select, but we can't give you very precise information on the use of metal troughs. We don't know if we are looking at shallow troughs that will only hold small annual and perennial blooming plants, or deep watering tanks that could possibly accommodate a tree. So, we went Internet diving and found these websites that will hopefully fill in the gap in our expertise:

Apartment Therapy How to Build a Raised Bed in a Metal Trough

Planet Natural Raised Bed Gardening

Two Men and a Little Farm Galvanized Water Tank/Trough Vegetable Gardens - please note the instructions on preparing drainage in those tanks

Now, since we don't know what scale of gardening you want to get into with the metal troughs, we are going to teach you to use our Native Plant Database to find herbaceous blooming plants (herbs), annuals and perennials that will tolerate shade. In the Database, using the Combination Search, select "Texas" for the state, "herb" (herbaceous blooming plant) under Habiit, and choose the amount of sunlight under "Light Requirements." Those are the most essential characteristis but, if you wish, you can go on to select for "evergreen" or "deciduous," projected mature height, even bloom time or color. However, the more charcteristics you choose, the fewer choices you will have. To help you learn how to use the Native Plant Database, we are going to make a list of some plants native not only to Texas but to the Travis County area, selecting on "herb" and "shade." You can rerun the same search changing all the characteristics for your own purposes. Follow each plant link to our webpage on that plant to learn its growing conditions, soil needs, etc.

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

Capsicum annuum (Chile pequin)

Calyptocarpus vialis (Straggler daisy)

Coreopsis lanceolata (Lanceleaf coreopsis)

Hydrocotyle umbellata (Manyflower marshpennywort)

Osmunda cinnamomea (Cinnamon fern)

You can then search on "tree," "shrub," or whatever other habits you are interested in growing.

 

From the Image Gallery


Eastern red columbine
Aquilegia canadensis

Chile pequin
Capsicum annuum

Straggler daisy
Calyptocarpus vialis

Lanceleaf coreopsis
Coreopsis lanceolata

Manyflower marshpennywort
Hydrocotyle umbellata

Cinnamon fern
Osmunda cinnamomea

More Shade Tolerant Questions

Plants for a Narrow, Dry, Shaded Site in Georgia
April 03, 2014 - I am writing from Valdosta, GA. Could you please suggest three perennial shrubs and/or plants that flower at different times of the spring and summer? Also ones that can be planted in a 2 ft. wide s...
view the full question and answer

Native grasses to accompany buffalograss in shade
May 01, 2008 - What grass goes with buffalo for shade/partial shade?
view the full question and answer

Fast-growing shade tree for Central Texas
July 04, 2009 - What is the best fastest growing shade tree for central Texas? Thanks
view the full question and answer

Fast-growing evergreen shade shrub for Lincoln NH
September 14, 2009 - I need a fast-growing, shade loving evergreen shrub that will give us privacy and grow in and around some White Pines whose branches were pruned to 4 - 6 ft above the ground. The house is in Lincoln ...
view the full question and answer

Container plants for Arlington TX
February 10, 2012 - Mr. Smarty Plants, I just moved to Arlington, TX. I am trying to create a container garden on my apartment balcony. What flowers, herbs, vegetables, and fruit combinations can I put together that wil...
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center