En EspaŅol

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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
5 ratings

Tuesday - February 10, 2009

From: Severn, MD
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Shrubs
Title: Native shrub to replace non-native azaleas.
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

I want to replace my two dozen azaleas this spring (I think they're unattractive once the flowers fall off). I like the multiseason characteristics of weigela (midnight wine, W&R), but want to go native. Can you suggest a native alternative to these compact oriental beauties?

ANSWER:

Among the most difficult requests we receive are those for landscape plant recommendations..  Some of the issues to consider when choosing a new plant for your landscape are how the landscape will is used, how the plant will fit with other plants and features in the landscape, ultimate size of the new plant, soil, water, nutrition and maintenance needs of the plant, potential insect, disease, and pets and children poisoning problems, and, of course, personal aesthetic considerations.  Unfortunately, we cannot answer many of those questions; only you, the owner can do that.  However, we can make some suggestions for some plants that might work for you.  Here is a list of selected Maryland native plant species.  One or more of these plants might work for you as a replacement for your azaleas.

Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry),

Calycanthus floridus (eastern sweetshrub),

Ceanothus americanus (New Jersey tea),

Clethra alnifolia (coastal sweetpepperbush),

Diervilla lonicera (northern bush honeysuckle),

Eubotrys racemosa (swamp doghobble),

Hypericum prolificum (shrubby St. Johnswort)

Ilex glabra (inkberry)

Itea virginica (Virginia sweetspire),

Paxistima canbyi (Canby's mountain-lover),

Physocarpus opulifolius (common ninebark),

Rhododendron arborescens (smooth azalea),

Rhododendron calendulaceum (flame azalea),

Rhododendron prinophyllum (early azalea),

Rhododendron viscosum (swamp azalea),

Spiraea alba (white meadowsweet),

Spiraea betulifolia (white spirea),

Spiraea tomentosa (steeplebush),

Symphoricarpos albus (common snowberry),

Symphoricarpos orbiculatus (coralberry),

Vaccinium angustifolium (lowbush blueberry)

 


Callicarpa americana

Calycanthus floridus

Ceanothus americanus

 


Clethra alnifolia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Diervilla lonicera

Eubotrys racemosa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Hypericum prolificum

 


Ilex glabra

Itea virginica

Paxistima canbyi

Physocarpus opulifolius

Rhododendron arborescens

Rhododendron calendulaceum

Rhododendron prinophyllum

Rhododendron periclymenoides

Spiraea alba

Spiraea tomentosa

Symphoricarpos albus

Symphoricarpos orbiculatus

Vaccinium angustifolium
 

 

 

 

More Shrubs Questions

Making cuttings from purple sage in Austin, TX.
May 15, 2012 - I would like to plant additional purple sage for landscaping. May I do this with cuttings from an existing adult plant? If so, how and when would be the best method? I live in Lago Vista, TX
view the full question and answer

Plants for northern exposure in Wichita, KS
March 17, 2009 - What are good plants for the north side of the house with acidic soil in Zone 6, Wichita, KS?
view the full question and answer

Removing existing shrubs from Grapevine TX
September 24, 2012 - We just bought a house and we have some shrubs and hedges we want to remove. What is the best way to remove them so that they don't grow back? We have some holly hedges, a very large cedar or juniper...
view the full question and answer

Need help with my Mountain Laurel in Sugarland, TX
June 22, 2011 - Texas Mountain Laurel - My plant's leaves are turning yellow and falling off. I don't know if this is caused from over watering or under watering. I have skipped days of watering to see if it will h...
view the full question and answer

How to Prune a Mountain Laurel to make it more tree like in Hendersen, NV
April 28, 2011 - How do I prune a Texas Mountain Laurel into a tree? Just bought a 15 gal. with two trunks above the crown. Was told that multiple trunks are their natural growth, which is OK. But all research call...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center