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

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

Flowers for sunny and shady gardens in Cedar Hill TX
March 30, 2010 - Last year I spent way too much on flowers for my sunny and shady flower beds. They all died from the heat, even after constant watering. What flowers could I plant in sunny and shady flower beds that ...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen flowering shrub for San Antonio, TX
May 20, 2013 - Need a suggestion for an evergreen flowering bush, 3 ft tall for shady area by front door. Have gardenia bushes there now - did well until we had a hard freeze and have struggled ever since. Ideas ple...
view the full question and answer

Shade tolerant low shrub for Houston
September 28, 2013 - Please suggest a shade loving shrub that doesn't get more than 3' tall for a foundation planting along a front porch in Houston, TX. I prefer native, drought resistant if possible. No nursery person...
view the full question and answer

Native flowers and ground cover for damp, shady area in Wisconsin
May 11, 2006 - I would like to plant some flowers and ground cover in the front of my yard near my home. This spot is usually damp and nearly always shaded. Any suggestions? Also I'm looking for blue flowering pla...
view the full question and answer

Low water use tree to shade pond in Burnet TX
May 10, 2011 - I'm in need of some shade at a 1/2 acre pond, but I don't want a tree to consume so much water that it will lower the water level. During droughts the little pond needs all the water it can get. Som...
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