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

Tuesday - March 30, 2010

From: Pflugerville, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Groundcovers, Herbs/Forbs, Shrubs
Title: Low growing, flowering evergreen plants for Pflugerville TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I am wondering if you can suggest some low growing, flowering evergreen plants for my garden.

ANSWER:

Before you begin, since you sound like you might be a beginning gardener, please read our How-To Articles A Guide to Native Plant Gardening and Gardening Timeline.

It's that word "evergreen" that causes us the most problems. If you want low flowering shrubs, there might be one or two that are evergreen, depending on how low is "low." If you want herbaceous blooming plants, perennials or annual, they are very seldom evergreen.  Another consideration is the amount of sunlight available where you want your garden. Some plants need full sun, which we regard as 6 or more hours of sun daily. Some need part shade, 2 to 6 hours of sun and some shade, less than 2 hours of sun. And some plants - flowers, shrubs, trees - can tolerate all three. About the best we can do for you is show you how to use our Native Plant Database to find plants with certain characteristics. You will need to follow the plant links to our webpage on each individual plant to see if it is low enough, evergreen, and what sunlight amounts it requires. Then, you can do searches yourself putting in your own choices. We do not have a search characteristic for "evergreen," so you will have to read the descriptions of each plant to determine if it is or isn't.

We are going to do two searches for you: one on shrubs and one on herbs (herbaceous blooming plants) so you can judge what you really want. These will all be native to Central Texas and should be commercially available. Woody plants (trees and shrubs) should be planted in Texas right away or not until Fall or late Winter, when they will be semi-dormant. Planting just about any plant in the heat of Texas' summer is asking for transplant shock and the waste of time and money in that dead plant. Perennials in bedding plants can be planted now, in the Spring, but annuals or perennials that you wish to grow from seeds should be planted in the Fall. You can repeat the process, making your own choices, changing the characteristics and so forth. 

Go to our Recommended Species section, and click on Central Texas on the map. We will begin our search by selecting "shrub" under General Appearance and "part shade" under Light Requirements. The other characteristics we will leave blank, for the time being. When we used this process, we got 20 possibilities, of which we selected 6 to use for examples. Hint: 3 of these are evergreen and 3 are not. We made the same search on "herbs"and came up with 39 possibilities, not one of which is evergreen.

Shrubs for Pflugerville TX:

Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. wrightii (Wright's desert honeysuckle)

Ilex vomitoria (yaupon)

Leucophyllum frutescens (Texas barometer bush)

Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii (wax mallow)

Pavonia lasiopetala (Texas swampmallow)

Sophora secundiflora (Texas mountain-laurel)

Herbaceous blooming plants for Pflugerville TX:

Asclepias tuberosa (butterfly milkweed)

Callirhoe involucrata (purple poppymallow)

Coreopsis lanceolata (lanceleaf tickseed)

Echinacea purpurea (eastern purple coneflower)

Melampodium leucanthum (plains blackfoot)

Phlox drummondii (annual phlox)

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:


Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. wrightii

Ilex vomitoria

Leucophyllum frutescens

Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii

Pavonia lasiopetala

Sophora secundiflora

Asclepias tuberosa

Callirhoe involucrata

Coreopsis lanceolata

Echinacea purpurea

Melampodium leucanthum

Phlox drummondii

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More Groundcovers Questions

Groundcover for foot traffic in dry shade from Prineville OR
May 12, 2013 - I live in central Oregon. I have an area under a large elm tree that slopes on all sides and has lots of foot traffic and no sun. (my kids have a swing in the tree and play around it a lot.) It's a v...
view the full question and answer

Groundcover Planting in Shiro TX
July 09, 2015 - I have been collecting seeds from White Avens and Texas Sedge to use as ground covers. What is the optimal time to plant these seeds? We have been experiencing heavy rains in our area lately, so I am ...
view the full question and answer

Groundcover for beachside planting in Florida
March 02, 2011 - What type of ground cover is best for beachside planting. Looking to replace lawn with salt tolerant, weed resistant, drought tolerant, little mowing, insect resistant ground cover. Any flowers are a ...
view the full question and answer

Non-native invasive chickweed in Collegeville PA
December 31, 2011 - My problem is chickweed. I have found considerable information on how to eliminate the chickweed. My question is after following a suggested elimination process: How and when do I reseed with grass?...
view the full question and answer

Creekside Groundcover for Upstate New York
October 22, 2015 - I live in Upstate New York in Rochester. Our winters can have lows of -10 at night at times. I have 1,300 linear feet of creekside land that seniors can view from their homes. Because of the brush, it...
view the full question and answer

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