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
3 ratings

Friday - February 04, 2011

From: Canyon lake, TX
Region: Select Region
Topic: Butterfly Gardens
Title: Butterfly/hummingbird garden plants for Hill Country, TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

What drought resistant plants would you recommend for a Hill Country butterfly/hummingbird garden that receives at least a half day of sun? It has afternoon exposure.

ANSWER:

We have two lists, found on our Recommended Species page, that are tailored for your requirements. The first is Hummingbird Plants for Central Texas. There were 30 plants on this list; after we specified "herb" (herbaceous blooming plant) under General Appearance, and "part shade" (2 to 6 hours daily of sun) under Light Requirements, there were 10 plants suggested that should attract hummingbirds for your garden. Using the instructions above for generating the list, follow the plant link to our webpage on each plant. This page will tell you the expected size of the plant, what pollinators it attracts, how much sunlight it needs daily, soil and moisture it prefers, and color and time of bloom.

Next, let us send you to our article on Hill Country Horticulture, which is actually a list of plants recommended for use in this area. Since the Hill Country is mostly in need of drought-resistant plants, that is going to be a good place to start. There were are 430 plants on that list; to narrow it down, we selected on "herb" for General Appearance, and "part shade" for Light Requirements. This yielded a list of 146 plants. As with the first list, reading each plant page will give you more information.  Obviously, there will be some overlap between the two lists, and you can also find shrubs, using the same search method, that will serve your purpose.

Our list below is not necessarily generated from either list, but plants we know from personal experience will grow well in the Hill Country, are native to Texas and attract pollinators.

Asclepias tuberosa (Butterflyweed)

Bignonia capreolata (Crossvine)

Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii (Turk's cap or turkscap)Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. wrightii (Flame acanthus)

Lantana urticoides (Texas lantana)

Salvia greggii (Autumn sage)

Salvia coccinea (Scarlet sage)

Erythrina herbacea (Coralbean)

Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. wrightii (Flame acanthus)

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:


Asclepias tuberosa


Bignonia capreolata


Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii


Lantana urticoides


Salvia greggii


Salvia coccinea


Erythrina herbacea


Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. wrightii

 

 

 

 

 

More Butterfly Gardens Questions

Replacement for Globe Thistle in Virginia
June 15, 2013 - Hi, We are trying to get our garden to be 100% North American Native and are at about 90% native to our region. One of the last plants we have to replace is our Globe Thistle. Do you have a good r...
view the full question and answer

Maintenance of milkweed from Austin
September 12, 2013 - I help plant and maintain a Monarch Waystation Garden in San Leanna, Texas (South Austin). Should milkweed plants be cut back during the winter? Last year we cut them back a bit late and some died c...
view the full question and answer

Landscaping from Wilmington NC
December 22, 2012 - I plan on moving to Belmont NC in the next couple of years and settling down with my future wife in her home town. I am a huge do it yourself person. I love to make things from scratch, including buil...
view the full question and answer

Pollinators for Washington State
June 26, 2015 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I am removing invasive knotweed in the Pacific Northwest and I would like to provide native plant alternatives that would flower and provide pollen in the late summer/fall f...
view the full question and answer

Hedge shrubs that attract butterflies & birds in Virginia
June 13, 2014 - Hi - I need recommendations for north VA hedge shrubs that attract butterflies and birds. Thanks
view the full question and answer

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