Contact Us Host an Event Volunteer Join

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
Not Yet Rated

Saturday - May 13, 2006

From: Flower Mound, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Cacti and Succulents, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Native plants for full sun and low maintenance
Answered by: Dean Garrett

QUESTION:

I have volunteered to plant flowers/bushes around a sign at my church. I want to plant indigenous plants so the maintenance is low but I also want attractive plants. The soil is clay and the location is exposed 24/7 to the elements. I thought about the yucca but I don't know what other plants would work with it.

ANSWER:

Since yuccas usually grow in full sun and will not bloom in shade, the suggestions here will be for plants native to your region that need a lot of sunlight.

Yuccas

Arkansas Yucca (Yucca arkansana)
Pale-leaf Yucca (Yucca pallida)

Ornamental Bunchgrasses

Little Bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium)
Lindheimer Muhly (Muhlenbergia lindheimeri) - This grass is actually native a bit south of you, in Central Texas, but it should do well in North Texas if your bed is well drained.

Spring-blooming Perennial Flowers

Pink Evening Primrose (Oenothera speciosa) - pink blooms
Winecups (Callirhoë involucrata) - purple blooms
Foxglove Penstemon (Penstemon cobaea) - pink blooms

Spring, Summer, and Fall-blooming Perennial Flower

Greenthread (Thelesperma filifolium) - yellow blooms

Summer and Fall-blooming Low Shrub

Black Dalea (Dalea frutescens) - purple blooms

Fall-blooming Perennial Flower

Liatris/Blazing Star/Gayfeather (Liatris mucronata) - purple blooms

When you're ready to purchase plants, consult our National Suppliers Directory for native plant retailers in your area.


Yucca arkansana

Yucca pallida

Schizachyrium scoparium

Muhlenbergia lindheimeri

Oenothera speciosa

Callirhoe involucrata

Penstemon cobaea

Thelesperma filifolium

Dalea frutescens

Liatris mucronata
 

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Problems with non-native petunias from Hodgeville, KY
May 12, 2013 - Planting petunias again in a house border bed.. It has been a tradition for 30+ years to plant the small upright petunias in this particular bed. It started as a Mothers Day gift to my Grandmother, ...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting trilliums
April 28, 2010 - What's the best time to transplant white trillium on my property on the shore of Lake Michigan?
view the full question and answer

Clover Among the Bluebonnets in Round Mountain, Texas
April 13, 2012 - I have a beautiful yard of bluebonnets, but mixed in with them are a tall clover that is hiding the flower's beauty and a shorter plant with clover-like leaves that produces burrs. Pulling is not an...
view the full question and answer

Black-eyed Susans in potting soil on ground
November 12, 2010 - I would like to know if black eyed susans can be planted in just potting soil instead of mixing it in with dirt from the ground? I don't want to leave it in the pots. I want to plant it, but the grou...
view the full question and answer

Salvia that needs dividing in Maryville MO
April 09, 2010 - I have some May Night salvia that is 3 years old. Last summer it split in the middle and spent a lot of the summer laid open. I'm wondering if it needs to be split or pruned in some way?
view the full question and answer

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