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

Tuesday - March 05, 2013

From: Belleair, FL
Region: Select Region
Topic: Plant Lists, Container Gardens, Shrubs
Title: Hot Sunny Planter Suggestions for Florida
Answered by: Anne Van Nest

QUESTION:

We have a large, raised, concrete planter (about 15' L x 2' W) separating us from our condo neighbor in Clearwater, FL. We would like suggestions for shrubs that tolerate full sun and hot conditions!

ANSWER:

Think of the space as two layers – the taller shrub layer and a groundcover or trailing plant layer that will cascade over the edge of the planter.  Your planter can include excellent native plants for both these layers. You can also have several different plants in the planter that have attractive flowering, foliage, or fruiting features during different times of the year.

The first place to go to find a list of potential plants is our Native Plant Database. Use the Combination Search feature instead of Recommended Species. This will provide a bigger selection with much more choice to narrow down. The volunteers and staff at the Wildflower Center who maintain the database have partners in different regions to help with these recommended species lists based on what is easy to access in local nurseries.

Under Combination Search, select the following categories: Florida, Habit (shrub), and Duration – Perennial. You can narrow down this search further by indicating light requirement (sun), blooming time, soil moisture (dry) and height specifics (0-1 ft or 1-3 ft).

Follow each plant link to our webpage for that plant to learn its growing conditions, bloom time, etc. At the bottom of each plant webpage, under Additional Resources, there is a link to the USDA webpage for that plant. Take a look there for more specific details about suitability before you put them on your final planting list. Think about including plants that have interest during a variety of seasons and that have more than one attractive feature (flower, fruit, foliage, bark, etc.) so you can get more benefits out of fewer plants.

The full sun and dry list of native shrubs that are 1-3 ft tall include Zamia pumila (Florida arrowroot), Verbena halei (slender verbena), Rosa carolina (Carolina rose), Lantana involucrata (button sage), Clinopodium coccineum (red savory), and Acacia angustissima (prairie acacia).

The same search (full sun, 1-3 ft tall shrubs) but with moist soil conditions resulted in three suggestions: Batis maritima (seaside saltwort), Desmanthus illinoensis (bundleflower), and Rosa carolinia (Carolina rose).

Best wishes with your planter planning.  

 

From the Image Gallery


Prairie acacia
Acacia angustissima

Illinois bundleflower
Desmanthus illinoensis

Illinois bundleflower
Desmanthus illinoensis

Carolina rose
Rosa carolina

Texas vervain
Verbena halei

Texas vervain
Verbena halei

Scarlet calamint
Clinopodium coccineum

More Container Gardens Questions

Native Plants for North Texas Container
July 12, 2011 - What would you recommend for a large permanent plant for a large container (3' X 3') for Plano, Texas in the sun?
view the full question and answer

Maximilian sunflowers in a container in Pflugerville, TX
April 26, 2010 - Can Maximilian sunflowers be grown in a container? How deep and wide would it need to be? Am considering growing them in a stock tank elevated on bricks, with drain holes.
view the full question and answer

Disappearing oranges from Satsuma orange in Austin
June 25, 2008 - I had many tiny future oranges on my Satsuma Orange Tree until a few days ago. Suddenly, all were gone except one. They weren't on the ground and the tree itself seems incredibly healthy. It is gr...
view the full question and answer

Containerized citrus foliage deformed
January 02, 2008 - I have three 2-year old potted grapefruit trees that have recently developed problems with the emergence of new leaves. The new leaves are stunted, deformed, often with wavy edges. Although it did ...
view the full question and answer

Container plants for deck in Maine
May 18, 2009 - I live on the ocean in Maine. Fourth floor deck. I want to plant containers and boxes with annuals that can withstand a lot of wind. We get mostly sun but some shade as well. Of course, there is the s...
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