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?


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 - September 06, 2013

From: Little Elm, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Xeriscapes, Drought Tolerant, Shrubs
Title: Five-eight foot hedge for north Texas
Answered by: Guy Thompson


I am looking to find a fairly large (preferably flowering) shrub / hedge to go along 100 feet of fence. The plants will be facing Northeast, but will be for the most part under the branches of crape myrtle trees, so I need something that does well with a little morning sun, but is shaded the rest of the day. Would like them to be anywhere from 5-8 feet tall / wide. I live in the north Texas area - hot dry summers, hard clay soil. Thanks


For your location I suggest the following shrubs:  Rhus aromatica (Fragrant sumac), Fallugia paradoxa (Apache plume), Leucophyllum frutescens (Cenizo) and Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry).  Clicking on each name will give you characteristics of the plant.  Note that only Cenizo is evergreen.  They will not bloom so profusely in deep shade, but the shade cast by your crepe myrtles should be light enough to cause no significant decrease in bloom.

More suggestions may be found at the local Native Plant Society of Texas web site.  The plants I suggest should be available at one of your local plant nurseries, and it would be best to wait to plant shrubs in cooler weather.  Some planting tips for trees/shrubs are found in this article.




From the Image Gallery

Fragrant sumac
Rhus aromatica

Apache plume
Fallugia paradoxa

Leucophyllum frutescens

American beautyberry
Callicarpa americana

More Shrubs Questions

Shrub or small tree to hide walls in southern California
August 31, 2009 - We have multiple issues in our back yard in 92683, and will probably need an assortment of plants to accomplish it. In a nutshell, here are the basics we were hoping to fix: 1) Ugly 5 & 6 foot block...
view the full question and answer

Trees with non-invasive roots or tops in Newhall CA
November 07, 2011 - We would like to plant a tree with noninvasive roots near our garden wall and concrete driveway in a grassy area in the front yard facing west. This spot is very sunny in the afternoon with automatic ...
view the full question and answer

Plants for winter installation in Houston
January 01, 2009 - What plants can you plant in the winter, Houston, Texas?
view the full question and answer

Effective plant cover for utility boxes
June 15, 2007 - In Connecticut, we have utility boxes for underground electricity and cable located in front of our house. The builder has landscaped around them: first with rhododendrons and then azaleas and both ...
view the full question and answer

Edibility of Washington Hawthorn berries from Williamsport PA
February 22, 2014 - Please tell me if Washington Hawthorn berries and leaves are edible and if so, how to prepare them. Thank you!
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center