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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Tuesday - August 19, 2008

From: Houston, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shade Tolerant
Title: Plants for shade
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I live in hot, humid Houston and the tree coverage of my yard is nearly 100 percent (so, little sunlight reaches the ground). Can you suggest a plant or two that would thrive in these conditions?

ANSWER:

You can find a list of East Texas Recommended plants, native plants that are commercially available for landscaping in East Texas, by choosing the East Texas section of the map on our Recommended Species page. From that list of over 130 species, you can narrow your search to plants that do well in the shade. First, select the Narrow Your Search option at the top of the list, then under Light Requirement select 'Shade - Less than 2 hours of sun per day'. There are more than 30 plants—trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants—that fit these requirements. Here are a few that Mr. SP particularly likes:

Chasmanthium latifolium (Inland sea oats)

Cornus florida (flowering dogwood)

Hydrangea quercifolia (oakleaf hydrangea)

Iris brevicaulis (zigzag iris)

Lobelia cardinalis (cardinalflower)

Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)

Phlox divaricata (wild blue phlox)

Salvia coccinea (blood sage)


Chasmanthium latifolium

Cornus florida

Hydrangea quercifolia

Iris brevicaulis

Lobelia cardinalis

Parthenocissus quinquefolia

Phlox divaricata

Salvia coccinea

 

 

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