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 - May 04, 2010

From: Round Rock, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shade Tolerant
Title: Landscaping in shade in Round Rock, TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have a flower bed that is 3' deep by 15' wide. It is in front of my front porch. Half of it only gets sun right now from about 3:30-5pm (a little filtered sun for maybe another hour). The other half of the bed gets sun maybe 3:30-6:30. To the far left (closest to the driveway) I'm going to try a bicolor iris. But I need something to anchor that far right side that would kind of balance the iris, but would do well with only very limited afternoon Texas sun. And then a mass planting of some perennials that can also tolerate that little amount of sun. I'd like an evergreen shrub or plant for the one end and ideally for the perennials in the middle as well. Suggestions on what might work for that far right side and also for the center mass plantings (was thinking 2 different plants for the middle, possibly divided by a bird bath)?

ANSWER:

From a distance, we can't give you a landscaping plan. It sounds like what you have is almost entirely in either part shade (2 to 6 hours of sun daily) or shade (2 hours or less of sun.) It would probably help you choose if you watch your garden for a day or two, estimating how long each area is in sun. The choices for that much shade are pretty limited, and there isn't much with prominent blooms that will do well without more sun. We will give you a list of perennial herbaceous blooming plants as well as a couple of shrubs that are evergreen, all for part shade or shade. This is going to narrow the choices down quite a lot, as most blooming plants bloom better in more sunlight; however, there are some native to Central Texas, so we'll see what we can come up with. As for where they will go and which you will use, that will have to be your decision. You can follow each plant link to our webpage on that plant, and find out when it blooms, how big it gets and what conditions it needs in terms of soil and water.

Shrubs for Part Shade or Shade in Round Rock, TX:

Ilex vomitoria (yaupon)

Morella cerifera (wax myrtle)

Perennial Blooming Plants for Part Shade or Shade in Round Rock, TX:

Asclepias tuberosa (butterfly milkweed)

Conoclinium coelestinum (blue mistflower)

Coreopsis lanceolata (lanceleaf tickseed)

Echinacea purpurea (eastern purple coneflower)

Lobelia cardinalis (cardinalflower)

Gaillardia suavis (perfumeballs)

Hibiscus martianus (heartleaf rosemallow)

Melampodium leucanthum (plains blackfoot)

Monarda fistulosa (wild bergamot)

Salvia coccinea (blood sage)

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:


Asclepias tuberosa

Conoclinium coelestinum

Coreopsis lanceolata

Echinacea purpurea

Lobelia cardinalis

Gaillardia suavis

Hibiscus martianus

Melampodium leucanthum

Monarda fistulosa

Salvia coccinea

Ilex vomitoria

Morella cerifera

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More Shade Tolerant Questions

Plants for shade in Pennsylvania
September 13, 2008 - i would like to plant a small area in my rear yard, that is full shade in the summer (when the trees are full with leaves) and part shade in early spring. i live on a state park - there are plenty of...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen plants for shaded fence in Arizona
January 28, 2009 - I need to place a fence around my front yard (4-5 ft tall), in Arizona. What evergreen flower/plant can you recommend that would grow on this fence? (it would only get about 2-4 hours of sun daily and...
view the full question and answer

Replacement for grass under non-native weeping willow from Yorba Linda CA
April 24, 2012 - What would be a good replacement for the grass currently growing under a weeping willow? Something requiring low maintenance, the problem is with mowing over and around the roots.
view the full question and answer

Enough sun from San Marcos TX
February 22, 2013 - I would like to plant both Lantana urticoides and Salvia farinacea in area that only has morning to 1pm sun..Will this amount of sun be enough?
view the full question and answer

Native grasses for shady yard in Austin
September 04, 2011 - I was looking at your research on native grasses to be used in a yard. I want to plant your native mix of seeds, but worry that there is too much shade in my yard. I live in central Austin and wante...
view the full question and answer

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