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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 - December 19, 2012

From: The Woodlands(Spring), TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shade Tolerant, Shrubs
Title: Shrub for mostly shaded area in The Woodlands TX
Answered by: Joan Singh and Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

What large shrub will grow in a partially shaded to mostly shaded tree area in The Woodlands(Spring), Texas which is north of Houston, Texas between Houston and Conroe? The Woodlands is in the very southern tip of the Piney Woods region of Texas. Houston is in the northern part of the Gulf Region of Texas.

ANSWER:

We are familiar with the area of The Woodlands. It is right on the border between two ecoregions: Gulf Coast Prairies and Marshes and Pineywoods.  Follow these links to the pages on those ecoregions, read the description of the soils and climate and you will find characteristics that fit where you are. Using the sidebar on the right side of the page on each, we will search on "shrub" for Habit, both "part shade" (2 to 6 hours of sunlight a day) and "shade" (less than 2 hours of sun a day" under Light Requirements. From those two lists, we will select some suggestions. You can follow each plant link to our webpage on that shrub to discover its expected mature size, what kind of soil it likes (which you should have because of where you are gardening), and how much moisture it requires. We will check that each plant we suggest does appear in the area of Montgomery County.

From the Gulf Coast Prairies  and Marshes List:

Aesculus pavia var. pavia (Scarlet buckeye)

Aloysia gratissima (Whitebrush)

Amorpha fruticosa (Indigo bush)

Calylophus berlandieri ssp. pinifolius (Berlandier's sundrops)

Erythrina herbacea (Coralbean)

Ilex vomitoria (Yaupon)

From the Pineywoods List:

Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry)

Ceanothus americanus (New jersey tea)

Rhus glabra (Smooth sumac)

Symphoricarpos orbiculatus (Coralberry)

Several of these shrubs appear on both lists; we have listed the duplicates only in the first list. You may rerun these searches to see if you can find others that you prefer. If you have difficulty finding your selected shrubs from our database, go to our  National Suppliers Directory, put your town and state or just your zip code in the "Enter Search Location" and you will get a list of native plant nurseries, seed companies and consultants in your general area. They all have contact information so you can inquire as to availability before you start driving.

 

From the Image Gallery


Scarlet buckeye
Aesculus pavia var. pavia

Whitebrush
Aloysia gratissima

Indigo bush
Amorpha fruticosa



Coralbean
Erythrina herbacea

Yaupon
Ilex vomitoria

American beautyberry
Callicarpa americana

New jersey tea
Ceanothus americanus

Smooth sumac
Rhus glabra

Coralberry
Symphoricarpos orbiculatus

More Shade Tolerant Questions

Evergreen shrub for part shade in Austin
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Ground cover to control erosion in Montgomery County, Texas
February 24, 2014 - I am looking for some kind of ground cover to control erosion on a north facing slope in Montgomery County, Texas. The area gets very little direct sunlight. I need something that will establish quick...
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Saving or transplanting stand of white trillium that has lost shade
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