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 - 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

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

Native shade trees for Austin
May 15, 2009 - I am building a new home that does not have any trees close by-- I want to have several shade trees to increase the efficiency of my home. What are your suggestions for an easy care, fast-growing, an...
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 shady courtyard classroom garden in Weatherford, TX
March 27, 2007 - I am wanting to create an outdoor classroom area in the courtyard of my school. The courtyard is enclosed by all four sides and the building is two stories high. It does not receive much sunlight. Mos...
view the full question and answer

Drought-tolerant plants for deep shade in Florida
June 23, 2012 - I am looking for indigenous, drought tolerant, leafy dense plants (kind of hosta like) that will grow in deep shade (under a tree that gets little sun) in Jacksonville, Florida.
view the full question and answer

Ground cover for shady site in Tyler TX
February 24, 2009 - I live in Tyler Texas and have a lot of shade and sandy soil. No grass will grow and I was wondering if I should look at ground cover instead? If so, what grows in shade and sand? I have tried sever...
view the full question and answer

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