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

Tuesday - June 23, 2015

From: Dover, DE
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Plant Lists, Container Gardens, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Native Plant for Containers in Delaware
Answered by: Anne Van Nest

QUESTION:

I live on the East Coast. I have a large covered porch that only gets some afternoon sun. I have tried full sun, partial sun and shade plants, and had no luck with them thriving. Can you recommend any potted plants that are hardy enough to tolerate these are any conditions? Thanks!!

ANSWER:

The first place to start is with a list of plants native to your area and then pick the hardiest ones and those that will grow in containers. As you have seen, it's not easy and will take some trial and error. Growing native plants in a garden bed is much easier than growing them in containers. As well, overwintering native plants in containers adds another challenge.

Start with a list of plants native to Delaware from our Native Plant Database and then narrow the group to Shrub, Perennial, part shade, moist and 0-3 feet in height (taller than this may flop in your containers).

From this group, some of the ones to try in containers are:

Maianthemum racemosum ssp. racemosum (feathery false lily of the valley)

Phlox divaricata (wild blue phlox)

Polygonatum biflorum (smooth Solomon's seal)

Rudbeckia hirta (black-eyed Susan) May be only act as an annual. '

Tradescantia virginiana (Virginia spiderwort)

Woodeardia virginica (Virginia chainfern)

 

From the Image Gallery


Wild blue phlox
Phlox divaricata

Smooth solomon's seal
Polygonatum biflorum

Black-eyed susan
Rudbeckia hirta

Virginia spiderwort
Tradescantia virginiana

Virginia chainfern
Woodwardia virginica

Feathery false lily of the valley
Maianthemum racemosum ssp. racemosum

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Red sister Cordyline problems in Brownsville TX
July 27, 2010 - I bought a Red Sister Cordyline plant but once the leaves grow they dry from the ends.
view the full question and answer

Death of Texas Betony and Blackfoot Daisy from Austin
April 18, 2013 - I have one small area that there are two plants - Texas Betony and Blackfoot Daisy withered and died eventually. Same kinds of plants are doing fine close by. It is my front yard close to walk way.I w...
view the full question and answer

Dietes bicolor invasive from Brisbane Australia
April 01, 2013 - We have dietes bicolor growing in our garden. I am changing the type of garden and cannot seem to kill it. I've dugged it out, spent too many weekends pulling out every new shoot, used poison, but t...
view the full question and answer

Source for ground pine plants from Ligonier PA
December 21, 2012 - Where can I purchase "ground pine plants? I want to use them for erosion control.
view the full question and answer

Identity of plant with white flowers and serrated leaves in creek bed
September 17, 2012 - I have a wild fall blooming plant, white flowers, serrated leaves. Growing abundantly in my dry creek bed. Any thoughts?
view the full question and answer

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