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
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

Monday - November 18, 2013

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shade Tolerant
Title: Plant for total shade in Austin Texas
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Most of north wall of my house is in total shade. Is there a native that will grow there? The nonnative Cast Iron Plant is thriving and the soil is good. Your list of plants requiring 2 hours or less of sun does not answer to the problem of no direct sunlight.

ANSWER:

The category of "2 hours or less of sun" is meant to cover the "no direct sunlight" situation.   Here are some plants that should do well in your sunless area:

Capsicum annuum (Chile pequin)

Chasmanthium latifolium (Inland sea oats)

Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii (Turk's cap or turkscap)

Packera obovata (Golden groundsel)

Salvia coccinea (Scarlet sage)

Sabal minor (Dwarf palmetto)

Scutellaria ovata ssp. bracteata (Heartleaf skullcap)

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

You can see more possibilities on the Plants for Dry Shade in Central Texas and the Texas–Central Recommended pages.  Use the NARROW YOUR SEARCH option to choose "Shade–2 hrs or less" from Light Requirement on either of those lists to find the plants that do well in total shade.  There are other interesting lists of plants under Just for Central Texans on our Recommended Species page.

 

From the Image Gallery


Chile pequin
Capsicum annuum

Inland sea oats
Chasmanthium latifolium

Turk's cap or turkscap
Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii

Golden groundsel
Packera obovata

Scarlet sage
Salvia coccinea

Dwarf palmetto
Sabal minor

Heartleaf skullcap
Scutellaria ovata ssp. bracteata

Eastern red columbine
Aquilegia canadensis

More Shade Tolerant Questions

Shade-loving Grass for the Houston area
February 09, 2011 - I have an ash tree that completely shades the majority of our front yard and is not allowing the St. Augustine grass to grow. Is there a shade-loving grass good for the Houston area?
view the full question and answer

Low maintenance, shade tolerant groundcover for Pacific Northwest
August 09, 2012 - What's a good low maintenance, shade tolerant ground cover for the Pacific Northwest? It needs to have good erosion control, too.
view the full question and answer

Plants for a shaded flower bed in OK City
May 29, 2011 - Here in Oklahoma City we have a flower bed west of our house, shaded all day by the house next door except for 2-3 hours of direct sun from the west. I have struggled with what bushes to plant there....
view the full question and answer

Plant Suggestions for Shady Site under Trees in Alabama
April 03, 2014 - I live in Montgomery, AL and have a bare area (20' x 5’) that's shady and soil erosion is a problem. Grass stops growing at the drip line of the trees here. Do you have any suggestions for growing s...
view the full question and answer

Lantana failing to bloom from Tampa FL
October 04, 2012 - I reside in central Florida. I have planted several lantana the orange,red,yellow type. I don't have proper species name. They have been in the ground 3 weeks with 2" of potting soil around root ba...
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