Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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
1 rating

Wednesday - May 12, 2010

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildlife Gardens, Shade Tolerant
Title: Plants for no sun in Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I need recommendations for shrubs that can withstand no sun, something that possibly blooms but does not attract bees, wasps, or any stinging insects (hummingbirds or butterflies ok).

ANSWER:

Okay, are you asking us for shrubs that can grow in a closet? We define light requirements as "sun," 6 or more hours of sun a day, "part shade," 2 to 6 hours of sun, and "shade," less than 2 hours of sun. Is anything growing in the space under consideration now? Weeds, grass, anything at all? By a process called photosynthesis, plants use sun energy and the nutrients from the soil to manufacture food for the plant to survive and grow. So, we'll search for some shrubs native to Central Texas that can do all right in "shade." Getting blooms of any kind from that will be tough; all plants bloom better with more light. We also will suggest an ornamental grass that likes shade. You can follow the plant links to the webpage on each plant for size and care.

Plants for Shade in Austin:

Salvia regla (mountain sage) - 3 to 5 ft., deciduous, blooms red July to October, part shade or shade, attracts hummingbirds and butterflies

Ilex vomitoria (yaupon) - 12 to 25 ft., evergreen, sun, part shade or shade, attracts birds and butterflies

Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii (wax mallow) - 2 to 3 ft., blooms red May to November, part shade or shade, attracts birds, hummingbirds and butterflies

Chasmanthium latifolium (Inland sea oats) - grass, 2 to 4 ft., part shade or shade

 

From the Image Gallery


Mountain sage
Salvia regla

Yaupon
Ilex vomitoria

Turk's cap
Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii

Inland sea oats
Chasmanthium latifolium

More Wildlife Gardens Questions

Plants for butterflies and hummingbirds in Louisville, KY
March 31, 2009 - Mr. Smarty Plants, I live in Louisville KY. I have a waterfall and ponds connected by a small stream. I want to plant several plants around my waterfall- approx. 20 sq ft on both sides of waterfall....
view the full question and answer

Memorial garden in Georgia
December 08, 2008 - I would like to plant a memorial garden in memory of my mother. She loved butterflies and bulbs blooming. Our backyard is shaded by large oaks and pines. A pool is located to the right, a large fire...
view the full question and answer

Hummingbird plants and Indian Hawthorn
May 13, 2008 - I live in The Woodlands in a new section of homes. I planted some hummingbird plants in full sun and they did ok last year for 4 months, then lost all their leaves and died when the winter came. At ...
view the full question and answer

Shrubs and small trees for a slope in NY
May 21, 2012 - We are looking for a living wall made of shrubs / small trees - no more than 25' for the top of a steep creek bed. We are looking for the best erosion preventing types.
view the full question and answer

Understory plants for creek side in Austin
September 22, 2008 - We live along Shoal Creek in central Austin and would like to establish a natural balance of vegetation along the creek. We currently have a high tree canopy made up of native Cedar Elms. What would...
view the full question and answer

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