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 Shrubs Questions

Need recommendations for privacy screen in Richmond, VA
February 27, 2013 - Hello, I read through the previous posts on privacy screen plantings in the Mid Atlantic region. There was a lot of great information, but I has a specific question that was not answered. I would li...
view the full question and answer

Monocarpic plants for Indiana
October 06, 2005 - We were in Hawaii this summer and became acquainted with the Silversword. This plant (according to what we were told) blooms only once in it's lifetime (of 50-70 years). Are you aware of any other pl...
view the full question and answer

Covering dead arborvitae with non-native ivy from Niles MI
April 14, 2013 - I have a severely thinning arborvitae hedge. It is probably too shady, but I want the privacy. I'm thinking of planting something like ivy to fill the gaps. I know it will probably kill the hedge, bu...
view the full question and answer

Propagating Bauhinia lunarioides
November 28, 2015 - For a Master Gardener Intern project I am attempting to propagate the native orchid tree/Anacacho, Bauhinia lunarioides via root, cuttings, and seed. I have scarified the seeds - how long should it ta...
view the full question and answer


May 01, 2015 - Greetings! I am hoping to gain privacy on a 30' swath with existing 6' privacy fence, I need about 14' of height to hide unsightly apartments. Location is full sun without a nearby spigot, I can ...
view the full question and answer

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