Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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
10 ratings

Friday - March 27, 2009

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shade Tolerant
Title: Shrub for shade in Austin, Texas.
Answered by: Damon Waitt

QUESTION:

Live in Austin, Texas and need to plant a shrub or plant that will grow well in little to no sun. Can grow 4 feet in height

ANSWER:

There are a number of small, native, shade tolerant shrubs that would do well in Austin, Texas. A search of the Recommended Species list for Central Texas for shade tolerant shrubs yielded 20 results. Of those results, Mr. Smarty Plants is partial to Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii (wax mallow)Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry), and Pavonia lasiopetala (Texas swampmallow) but you might also try the lesser known Amorpha fruticosa (desert false indigo)Mimosa borealis (fragrant mimosa) or even Erythrina herbacea (redcardinal).


Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii

Callicarpa americana

Pavonia lasiopetala

Amorpha fruticosa

Mimosa borealis

Erythrina herbacea

 

 

 

More Shade Tolerant Questions

Wet & Shade in South Austin
February 19, 2011 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants - I live in south Austin (S. of Ben White) in a new development. Our houses are fairly close together, so there's little sun between them. The issue is that when it does rain, ...
view the full question and answer

Habiturf lawn in Carson City, NV
October 15, 2013 - I planted habiturf just south of Reno NV May 5. First two months no or little germination because nite temps too cold. Now doing ok except battling purslane and redstem filaree.. SO, I notice bare/spa...
view the full question and answer

Groundcover to reduce erosion for shady area in New York
May 05, 2009 - We live on a lake with gravelly and clay soils, lots of wind and little sun. I am looking for a native ground cover that will help reduce erosion over some of the steep slopes facing south (under shad...
view the full question and answer

Shade-loving native plants for South Carolina
January 08, 2008 - I am looking to incorporate a native plants section in my backyard. Shade seems to be a limiting factor in some parts, especially where I would look to create a natural hedge bordering my neighbor's...
view the full question and answer

Shade-loving Grass for the Houston area
February 09, 2011 - I have an ash tree that completely shades the majority of our front yard and is not allowing the St. Augustine grass to grow. Is there a shade-loving grass good for the Houston area?
view the full question and answer

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