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

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

Tuesday - July 23, 2013

From: Grapeland, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shade Tolerant, Herbs/Forbs, Shrubs
Title: Plants for shaded area in East Texas
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I live in East Texas and have an area that is shaded most of the day - it only gets sun in the middle of the day but it is direct. What would be best? I would prefer something that won't freeze, but it is a fairly well protected area. Annuals or small shrubs would fit here. There is a well established passion vine on the fence close by.

ANSWER:

On our Recommended Species page you will find a map of the United States with the states outlined so that you click on them to find lists of recommended native plants that are commercially available for landscaping in each state.  Although you consider yourself in East Texas, our map puts your county (Tarrant) in North Central Texas.  If you click on that area (North Central Texas) you will get a list of plants that are commercially available for landscaping for your area.  You can use the NARROW YOUR SEARCH option to choose the criteria you want.   For instance, under Light Requirement, choose "Shade–2 hrs or less" and under General Appearance you could choose "Herb", "Subshrub" or "Shrub".  Here are some possibilities that I found doing this search:

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine) is a perennial herb.

Lobelia cardinalis (Cardinal flower) is a perennial herb.

Rudbeckia hirta (Black-eyed susan) is an annual herb.

Salvia regla (Mountain sage) is a small deciduous shrub.

Ilex vomitoria (Yaupon) is an evergreen shrub/small tree.  There are dwarf varieties and it can be pruned to size.

 Rhus aromatica (Fragrant sumac) is a deciduous shrub.  There are dwarf varieties of this shrub, too.

If your site qualifies as partial shade (2 to 6 hours of sun per day), there are many more choices, such as:

Asclepias tuberosa (Butterflyweed) is a perennial herb.

Conoclinium coelestinum (Blue mistflower) is a perennial herb.

There are also more herbs and shrubs for partial shade.

For each of these species you should read the GROWING CONDITIONS on their species page to see if they agree with the conditions at your site.

You can find nurseries in your area that specialize in native plants in our National Suppliers Directory.

 

 

From the Image Gallery


Eastern red columbine
Aquilegia canadensis

Cardinal flower
Lobelia cardinalis

Black-eyed susan
Rudbeckia hirta

Mountain sage
Salvia regla

Yaupon
Ilex vomitoria

Fragrant sumac
Rhus aromatica

Butterflyweed
Asclepias tuberosa

Blue mistflower
Conoclinium coelestinum

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

Deer resistant privacy fence for shade in Hill Country
April 28, 2009 - I am looking for a shrub to plant along a privacy fence that gets 8+ feet tall, fast growing, preferably native, deer resistant, and can tolerate mostly shade. I reside in the Hill Country area. Tha...
view the full question and answer

Plants for no sun in Austin
May 12, 2010 - I need recommendations for shrubs that can withstand no sun, something that possibly blooms but does not attract bees, wasps, or any stinging insects (hummingbirds or butterflies ok).
view the full question and answer

Flower color under large pine tree from South Elgin IL
April 05, 2013 - I have a very large pine tree that I would like to plant some flowers under. I have hostas, stonecrop and fern, but like to add some color. What do you suggest? Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Hanging flowering plants in part shade in Denton, TX
September 18, 2008 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I'd like to hang 4"-6" pots with flowering plants from north-facing eaves. That area gets an hour or so of late-morning/noon sun. Also, my apt. faces a large courtyard so...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center