Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Monday - June 10, 2013

From: Llano, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Herbs/Forbs, Shrubs
Title: Texas sage near a granite outcropping from Llano TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have a large granite outcropping near my house. There are pockets that have spring flowers growing in them and is just beautiful in the spring. I want to plant other native plants in and about the granite. What plants do you suggest? Someone told me I couldn't plant anything near the rock because it heats up in the summer and cooks the roots. I love Texas Sage. Would a hedge of Texas Sage be possible?

ANSWER:

First, the story that not being able to plant anything near the granite slab because it heats up in the summer and cooks the roots. What do you think about the pockets of spring flowers growing already on that hunk of granite? They don't seem to be cooking. And the roots of plants are in the shade, protection and insulation of the earth, quite safe from the reflection of light and heat from that rock. In fact, the density of the rock probably means it is pretty cool inside, too.

Now, on to the Texas Sage. There are two plants native to Central Texas in or near Llano County with the common name "Texas Sage":

Leucophyllum frutescens (Cenizo) - an evergreen shrub

Salvia texana (Texas sage) - an herbaceous blooming plant

Follow each plantt link to our webpages on these plants to learn their sunlight requirements, soil and water needs as well as color and time of blooming. Since you mentioned you wanted to make a hedge, we are going to assume you meant the Cenizo, which is often sold as "Texas Sage." You will note that one of the pictures of this plant from our Image Gallery (below) shows the Cenizo trimmed as a hedge. We prefer it not trimmed too heavily as this removes a lot of the blooms. With some rain, this plant can bloom virtually year-round. And we think it will thrive and be beautiful in front of the chunk of granite.

 

 

From the Image Gallery


Texas sage
Salvia texana

Texas sage
Salvia texana

Texas sage
Salvia texana

Cenizo
Leucophyllum frutescens

Cenizo
Leucophyllum frutescens

Cenizo
Leucophyllum frutescens

More Shrubs Questions

Fast-growing trees for privacy in East Texas
September 02, 2013 - Fast growing tree seeds for my area to create a tree grove for privacy.
view the full question and answer

Container plant to grow in late afternoon sun
July 02, 2011 - I have a shaded brick walkway that leads to my front door. It faces west, and can get very hot late afternoon Houston sun, although it is shaded for the remainder of the day. I have been successful ...
view the full question and answer

Pruning and deadheading rosa rugosa while blooming
August 01, 2008 - Can you prune the dead flowers and branches of rosa rogosa while it is still blooming?
view the full question and answer

Texas Redbud Suddenly Died in NM
November 06, 2014 - We had a Texas redbud, approximately 5 1/2 years old. It had been doing great then all of a sudden after it bloomed this spring, the leaves appeared but then shriveled right away. We noticed the trunk...
view the full question and answer

Need to know about little brown spots on Texas Mountain Laurel
May 11, 2015 - I have little brown spots on my Texas Mountain Laurel leaves. I can email you a picture if needed. What could it be and how can I help my little laurels work thru these spots? The texas mountain ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.