Contact Us Host an Event Volunteer Join

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

Sunday - August 22, 2010

From: Troy , NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Soils, Drought Tolerant, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Plants for sunny dry soil location
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Do any native plants exist in a highly sunny very dry soil location? (high overhang prevents rain but allows sun)

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants assumes you want something to plant in such an area. The easiest way to find such plants is through our New York Recommended page which lists more than 100 commercially available native New York plants that are suitable for landscaping.  Use the NARROW YOUR SEARCH option in the sidebar and select 'Sun - 6 or more hrs' from LIGHT REQUIREMENT and 'Dry - no signs of moisture' from SOIL MOISTURE.  You can also make a selection under GENERAL APPEARANCE, LIFESPAN, BLOOM TIME or BLOOM COLOR.  Here are several herbaceous perennials from the list that do well in dry sunny areas:

Achillea millefolium (common yarrow)

Anaphalis margaritacea (western pearly everlasting)

Lupinus perennis (sundial lupine)

Monarda fistulosa (wild bergamot)

Here are three shrubs that also do well in dry sunny areas:

Gaylussacia baccata (black huckleberry)

Rhus copallinum (winged sumac)

Vaccinium angustifolium (lowbush blueberry)

You can find even more possibilities by doing a COMBINATION SEARCH in our Native Plant Database by choosing 'New York' from Select State or Province and making the appropriate choices in the other categories. Here are several possibilities for various types of plants.

Grass/Grasslike:

Bouteloua curtipendula (sideoats grama)

Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem)

Sporobolus heterolepis (prairie dropseed)

Shrub:

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (kinnikinnick)

Dasiphora fruticosa ssp. floribunda (shrubby cinquefoil) 

You can find many more shrubs, trees and herbaceous perennials.

Here are photos from our Image Gallery:


Achillea millefolium

Anaphalis margaritacea

Lupinus perennis

Monarda fistulosa

Gaylussacia baccata

Rhus copallinum

Vaccinium angustifolium

Bouteloua curtipendula

Schizachyrium scoparium

Sporobolus heterolepis

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi

Dasiphora fruticosa ssp. floribunda

 

 

 

 

More Soils Questions

Problem with Salvia Mystic Spires in Chesterfield VA
May 30, 2009 - Last August, our local Lowes had these beautiful, unusual blue perennials on the discount rack called "Salvia Mystic Spires". For 50 cents each, they looked terrific, so I bought all they had, about...
view the full question and answer

Growing Native Plants in Juniper litter from Wimberley, TX
October 04, 2010 - Junipers create an environment under their canopy that prohibits growth of other plants. I have a virgin lot that has been cleared of many juniper but has remaining heavy natural leaf mold containing...
view the full question and answer

Lupines annual or perennial in Zone 4b from Austin
November 08, 2012 - Are lupines treated as perennials or annuals in Zone 4b (Northeast) if they are planted in the ground? Will other native species of lupines grow in a region they are not native to? Any recommendations...
view the full question and answer

Soils for Acacia greggii and Bauhinia lunarioides
May 02, 2007 - What kind of soil do you recommend for anacacia tree? I was stunned by the one blooming at Center. I have had one for years and it has not been happy. I figure it must be the soil.
view the full question and answer

Garden instructions from Austin
June 12, 2013 - I'm a beginning gardener putting in some new landscaping in my front yard in north central Austin, TX. The yard faces almost due east, so it gets full sun until early afternoon, when the house's sha...
view the full question and answer

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