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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Tuesday - May 18, 2010

From: austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shrubs
Title: Shrub or tree for large pot in Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have a front-door entryway that faces east, what 3-4 foot shrub/tree would best survive in a large pot? Thanks!

ANSWER:

First, read our How-To Article on Container Gardening with Native Plants. This may all be stuff you already know, but it never hurts to have a refresher course. Next, you did not say how much sun you got, which is more pertinent to plant selection than which way the area faces. In an east-facing location, you could expect morning sun, maybe about 3 to 4 hours, but not if there are large trees, an overhang or other structures on that same east side, cutting off the sunlight. However, it would also be shielded from the perhaps harsher western sun by the bulk of the house. We think the best choice would be a plant that can tolerate "part shade," which we consider to be 2 to 6 hours of sun a day. We have selected 4 shrubs that fall into your size specifications and will do well in part shade. We also chose some succulents, but avoided the agaves, which can be quite spectacular but also quite dangerous to have at a front entry. Follow the links to the page in our Native Plant Database on that particular plant to learn how large it gets, when it blooms and what care requirements it has.

Shrubs for a Container in Austin:

Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry)

Calylophus berlandieri ssp. pinifolius (Berlandier's sundrops)

Leucophyllum frutescens (Texas barometer bush)

Pavonia lasiopetala (Texas swampmallow)

Succulents for a Container in Austin: 

Yucca rupicola (Texas yucca)

Manfreda sileri (Siler's tuberose)

Manfreda variegata (mottled tuberose)

Hesperaloe parviflora (redflower false yucca)

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:


Callicarpa americana

Calylophus berlandieri ssp. pinifolius

Leucophyllum frutescens

Pavonia lasiopetala

Yucca rupicola

Manfreda sileri

Manfreda variegata

Hesperaloe parviflora

 

 

 

 

 

 

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