Contact Us Host an Event 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
3 ratings

Monday - November 16, 2009

From: OKC, OK
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildlife Gardens
Title: Drought tolerant plants for butterflies and hummingbirds
Answered by: Anne Bossart

QUESTION:

I have about 150 sq ft of space in our backyard (urban OKC residence) that gets direct sun in the morning but is 100% shaded by 11-Noon from 2 large Sycamore trees. The space is on the west side of the yard and also shaded after noon by a 7 foot fence. Would like to fill this area with a (wide?) variety of native and drought resistance flowers/shrubs attractive to humming birds and butterflies, and with a large range of color and blooming times.

ANSWER:

Well that's a tall order, but not an impossibility.  There are plants that meet those requirements ... just not a wide variety! We commend your decision to install plants that have a benefit for wildlife and will help make your garden a sustainable ecosystem.  We recommend you investigate transforming your garden intoa Wildlfife Habitat. Visit the National Wildlife Federation website for more information.

By narrowing the search on our Recommended Species search for Oklahoma for part sun and dry conditions we find some perennials that fit the bill. You will find more  on the list.

Aquilegia canadensis (red columbine)

Asclepias tuberosa (butterfly milkweed)

Callirhoe involucrata (purple poppymallow)

Coreopsis lanceolata (lanceleaf tickseed)

Echinacea purpurea (eastern purple coneflower)

Monarda fistulosa (wild bergamot)

Ipomopsis rubra (standing-cypress)

Salvia coccinea (blood sage)

You will likely not have room for many shrubs, but here are two good ones that will survive in those conditions, attract wildlife and have great fall color.

Amelanchier arborea (common serviceberry)

Rhus glabra (smooth sumac)


Aquilegia canadensis

Asclepias tuberosa

Callirhoe involucrata

Coreopsis lanceolata

Echinacea purpurea

Monarda fistulosa

Ipomopsis rubra

Salvia coccinea

Amelanchier arborea

Rhus glabra

 

 

 

 

 

More Wildlife Gardens Questions

Horse-friendly plants for Powell OH
September 24, 2010 - I am looking for horse friendly plants, i.e., shrubs, trees, bushes, etc. that can be planted in wet area in Ohio. Thank you in advance for your assistance.
view the full question and answer

Plants for birds in Virginia
February 17, 2008 - Hi there, I would like to plant some bird-friendly shrubs in my backyard, here in the Shenandoah Valley. I have read that birds like winterberries, and I think they are gorgeous. But, this is mid-Fe...
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

Native Asclepias spp. for Monarchs in Connecticut
June 15, 2009 - Dear Mr. Smarty Pants, I live in Naugatuck Connecticut and I want to hatch my own monarch butterflies. I know that Monarchs like to hatch eggs on Milkweed plants. There are many types of milkweed p...
view the full question and answer

Wildflower meadow for Arkansas
September 16, 2007 - We want to create a 1/2-1 acre wildflower style "meadow" using native plants that we can naturalize. I found information for our area (Central Arkansas) on this website that is helpful, but I am als...
view the full question and answer

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