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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.

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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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Wednesday - July 28, 2010

From: Newport, NC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Container Gardens
Title: Salt and wind tolerant plants for small containers in NC
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

We need two plants that will go in raised planters. Will be in full sun with lots of wind. Salt water nearby. Will have to keep plants sorta short I guess. We cannot find anything, although we see salt resistant, but they grow too big for a planter which is 12" tall, 9" deep, 11" across the top and tapers down to about 6". CAN YOU HELP SUGGEST ANYTHING. We are old and stupid!! Thanx!

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants consulted two lists of salt tolerant plants, Salt Tolerant Plants for Florida from the University of Florida IFAS Extension and Salt Tolerant Plants from North Carolina Cooperative Extension, and found the following plants that have at least moderate salt tolerance and are reasonably short to withstand the wind.  You might find others on the list that you like, but please be aware that many of the plants in these two lists are introduced plants that aren't native to North Carolina nor to North America.  If you see a plant that interests you on the list that I didn't recommend, please check in our Native Plant Database.  If you find it there, you can be assured that it is native to North America and you can check the DISTRIBUTION section on the species page to see if it is native to North Carolina.

LESS THAN 1 FOOT HIGH:

Phyla nodiflora (turkey tangle fogfruit)

Dichondra carolinensis (Carolina ponysfoot)

Portulaca pilosa (kiss me quick)

FROM 1 FOOT TO 3 FEET

Teucrium canadense (Canada germander)

Muhlenbergia capillaris (hairawn muhly)

Panicum amarum (bitter panicgrass) and here are photos.

Gaillardia pulchella (firewheel)

Opuntia humifusa (devil's-tongue)

Zamia pumila ssp. pumila (coontie) and here are more photos and information.

Here are photos from our Image Gallery:


Phyla nodiflora

Dichondra carolinensis

Portulaca pilosa

Teucrium canadense

Muhlenbergia capillaris

Gaillardia pulchella

Opuntia humifusa

Zamia pumila ssp. pumila

 

 


 

 

 

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