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

Monday - August 10, 2009

From: Briarcliff, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildlife Gardens
Title: Plant for hummingbirds shelter in Briarcliff TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I am looking to grow a container plant for the birds to enjoy on my back deck. A little greenery and possibly a place to rest for the birds would be great. This faces west and has no shade. There are mostly hummingbirds on the deck and the nearest tree for rest is 15 feet away. Heat tolerance is a must. A shrub of some sort would be great. The deck is on a drop off so growing something from the ground is difficult. So far I have only attempted to grow a large Texas sotol which is doing great. Thank you, Ginger

ANSWER:

What a lovely and generous idea. We can think of several shrubs that could be adapted to container use, would offer shelter, and nectar for hummingbirds and butterflies. If you have not already done so, we suggest you read our How-To Article Container Gardening with Native Plants. Also, follow the links on each plant we list below to learn its expected size, etc. You may have to do some pruning to keep them within the bounds you want, so be sure you determine when it's safe to prune in terms of the blooming branches. Some of the shrubs we list are deciduous, but since most of our hummingbirds are migratory, the lack of leaves should not be a deterrent. All of these shrubs are native to Travis County, and should be dependable.

Shrubs for attracting hummingbirds in Briarcliff TX

Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. wrightii (Wright's desert honeysuckle) - deciduous, blooms red, orange June to October, sun, attracts hummingbirds and butterflies

Erythrina herbacea (redcardinal) - deciduous, blooms red March to November, , sun, attracts hummingbirds. WARNING: Seeds are poisonous, should not be used where children could have access.

Lantana urticoides (West Indian shrubverbena) - semi-evergreen, blooms red, orange, yellow April to October, attracts hummingbirds and butterflies, sun

Leucophyllum frutescens (Texas barometer bush) - evergreen, blooms white, pink, violet sporadically year-round, depending on rain, sun, nectar for insects, and cover

Salvia greggii (autumn sage) - evergreen, blooms white, red, pink March to May, sun, nectar source for bees and butterflies

Senna lindheimeriana (velvet leaf senna) - dedicuous, blooms yellow August to October, sun, attracts birds, butterflies

Pictures from our Native Plant Database


Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. wrightii

Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. wrightii

Erythrina herbacea

Erythrina herbacea

Lantana urticoides

Lantana urticoides

Leucophyllum frutescens

Leucophyllum frutescens

Salvia greggii

Salvia greggii

Senna lindheimeriana

Senna lindheimeriana

 

 

More Wildlife Gardens Questions

Plants beneficial to honey bees in Indiana
August 30, 2014 - I am searching for a list of shrubs, vines, low growing plants that would benefit, specifically honeybees in southeast Indiana. My Soil & Water Conservation District would like to offer these plants f...
view the full question and answer

Little birds for Little Rock
March 21, 2005 - I would like to plant flowers that hummingbirds and butterflies like. I live in Little Rock, Arkansas. What do you suggest?
view the full question and answer

Birds attracted to wax myrtles in Austin
January 12, 2010 - Hello! We are considering planting Wax Myrtles in our relatively small SW Austin backyard. I'm excited about its ability to create quick privacy, but I was wondering specifically, what types of bird...
view the full question and answer

Caterpillars on Carolina buckthorn (Frangula caroliniana)
September 29, 2007 - I have a Carolina buckthorn and last year there were interesting looking caterpillars munching on the leaves. They were camouflaged to look a bit like bird droppings. The plant database makes no ment...
view the full question and answer

Larval host plants for Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui) butterflies
October 31, 2009 - I am looking for a list of larval host plants for Painted Lady butterflies. Could you provide such a list?
view the full question and answer

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