Rent Shop 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

Thursday - June 25, 2009

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shade Tolerant
Title: Planting shade plants in 100+ weather
Answered by: Nina Hawkins

QUESTION:

I was planning on planting some columbines in a barrel and Turk's Cap and Coralberry in my yard, but hadn't counted on the extreme heat this early in the summer. Is it okay to plant these things as long as I am careful to keep them watered, or would it be a waste of my time?

ANSWER:

Extreme heat is no understatement!  We are setting records here in Austin this June.  If you don't already have the plants, I would advise waiting until the Fall to plant your native shade plants.  Fall is prime planting season in Central Texas because the mild weather allows the plants to get established and develop a strong root system during the cooler months and then have a good growing season in Spring to build up energy stores before contending with the extreme stress of our summer heat.  If you can't resist, however, follow the wise instructions given in this recently answered question and your plants will have a shot at limping through the summer.

 


Aquilegia chrysantha var. hinckleyana

Malvaviscus arboreus

Symphoricarpos orbiculatus
 

More Shade Tolerant Questions

Need plants to shade on a west-facing wall in Houston, TX
April 28, 2010 - What plants are best to provide shade on a west facing wall in Houston. I am looking for plants that help to cool the house.
view the full question and answer

Plants for a Austin thicket underlayer
July 25, 2014 - We live in Austin, west of 183. We are planning to put a thicket in our backyard, where there is no threat of deer. Anchoring the thicket are a clump of live oaks, a Texas persimmon, an Eve's Necklac...
view the full question and answer

Area under live oaks from Austin
October 08, 2012 - We have many live oaks in our mostly shaded half acre. While I have tried to plant mostly native plants, often beneath them, the plants are showered with leathery leaves, acorns and sap, while oak sp...
view the full question and answer

Shrub or small tree for dappled shade in San Antonio
April 18, 2010 - I'm looking for an attractive bush or small tree that will grow in dry, dappled shade. I'd prefer one that does not form fruit-I don't want the neighborhood skunks visiting my yard.(My dog has been...
view the full question and answer

Plants for under live oak in Houston
July 09, 2011 - Hi, We have a live oak in our back garden in Houston and would like to plant a combination of some native shrubs and flowers near it (preferably perennial). The garden bed is about 4 metres from the...
view the full question and answer

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