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
2 ratings

Tuesday - May 06, 2008

From: Argyle, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Soils, Herbs/Forbs, Shrubs
Title: Plants for full sun and clay soil in NY
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

We live in upstate new york( zone 5) with full sun and clay soil. What flowers/flowering shrubs would be successful in this environment?

ANSWER:

There are two routes to an answer to your question. First, we can go to the Recommended Species page and pick New York. This will give you a list of commercially available native plants suitable for landscaping. You can then browse through the more than 100 species listed and learn about their growth requirements.

You can also go to the Native Plant Database and do a Combination Search choosing New York under "All states and provinces" and choosing "Sun - 6 or more hours of sun per day" under "Light requirement". This will give you nearly 800 plants to look through. You can check the soil type under "Growing Conditions" on each species page.

This will give you to opportunity to do your own choosing, but I will recommend a few favorites:

Shrubs/small trees

Amorpha fruticosa (desert false indigo)

Ceanothus americanus (New Jersey tea)

Lindera benzoin (northern spicebush)

Physocarpus opulifolius (common ninebark)

Prunus virginiana (chokecherry)

Rhus aromatica (fragrant sumac)

Shepherdia argentea (silver buffaloberry)

Herbaceous plants

Achillea millefolium (common yarrow)

Conoclinium coelestinum (blue mistflower)

Coreopsis lanceolata (lanceleaf tickseed)

Lobelia siphilitica (great blue lobelia)

Lobelia cardinalis (cardinalflower)

Monarda fistulosa (wild bergamot)

Rudbeckia hirta (blackeyed Susan)


Amorpha fruticosa

Ceanothus americanus

Lindera benzoin

Physocarpus opulifolius

Rhus aromatica

Shepherdia argentea

Prunus virginiana

Achillea millefolium

22

 


Conoclinium coelestinum

Coreopsis lanceolata

Lobelia siphilitica

Lobelia cardinalis

Monarda fistulosa

Rudbeckia hirta
 

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Penstemon digitalis not blooming in Hebron, NE.
May 22, 2010 - My Beardtongue plants are too close together. Can I transplant my Penstemon digitalis now, even though the plant is approx. 20" tall? It is not blooming.
view the full question and answer

Plants that smell like chocolate from Coral Gables FL
July 12, 2012 - I am looking for plants that smell like chocolate. I live in south Florida. We are currently growing and testing Berlandiera lyrata. Do you know of other plants whose flowers smell like chocolate?
view the full question and answer

Source for silver ponyfoot from Temple TX
March 19, 2013 - Where can I purchase dichondra argentea -- I live in Bell Co. but am willing to come to Austin if need be. Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Plants for a Shaded Slope in Philadelphia
April 17, 2015 - I have a small slope along the North side of my house in a suburb of Philadelphia. A small maple tree grows there but most of it gets no sun at all (a large segment is under the tree). I had the soil ...
view the full question and answer

Recovering neglected garden space from Grapevine TX
March 22, 2014 - I live in Grapevine TX (Dallas). I just moved into a house where almost the entire large backyard is covered by oak trees that shed tons of leaves throughout our mild falls/winters. The yard has not...
view the full question and answer

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