Contact Us Host an Event 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 - June 08, 2015

From: Seguin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shade Tolerant, Shrubs
Title: Advice for Texas Mountain Laurel in shady, narrow bed.
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

My house faces N/NE and gets a lot of shade. I would like to plant a Texas Mountain Laurel in my narrow front bed, but what is the best way to amend my clay soil since it prefers rocky soil? What would pair well with it? Or are there other plants you would recommend instead? I couldn't find a similar q&a so I hope to hear from you soon. Thank you!

ANSWER:

We cannot recommend Texas Mountain Laurel (Sophora secundiflora) for that location.  A narrow bed is going to be too small of this species, which can grow to 20 feet (or more) in height and spread to that width.  Moreover, while it will grow in shady locations, it tends to become thin, leggy and unattractive and does not flower well.

Turk's Cap (Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii) or Coralberry (Symphoricarpos orbiculatus) might be good choices for the location you describe.

 

More Shade Tolerant Questions

Ivy for shady wall in New York
June 25, 2009 - I live in Melville, New York. The house is adjacent to the Long Island Expressway and there is a cement sound barrier wall about 25 feet high that runs along the backyard of my 1 acre property. I ...
view the full question and answer

Deer resistant plants for Pittsburgh PA
January 30, 2012 - What shrubs can I plant on a wet slope that gets partial sun that will help control erosion? They need to be something the deer won't eat! We have lots of deer.
view the full question and answer

Evergreen Deck Plant for Oregon
May 29, 2011 - Need evergreen shrub to grow in shade in container 5ft tall for deck.
view the full question and answer

Drought & Deer Resistant Shrub for Shade in Medina, TX
June 14, 2013 - We are dedicated to native plants in Medina, but are desperate to find a drought and deer resistant shrub for shade. Would we be too far off base with an oleander bush? We know birds and most butterfl...
view the full question and answer

Native grasses for shade for Austin
September 21, 2009 - I just read with interest your article on multi-species native lawns. However, I believe the suggested grasses don't grow well in the shade, is this true. Are there any suggestions for native (mult...
view the full question and answer

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