Rent Shop 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

Thursday - March 28, 2013

From: Cincinnati, OH
Region: Midwest
Topic: Shrubs
Title: Alternative shrub for Greyowl Juniper from Cincinnati OH
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I don't love Greyowl Juniper which our landscaper is recommending for a low planting in front of the house. Can you recommend an alternative? I don't care for the grayish color or the spiky look of the branches.

ANSWER:

Juniperus virginia 'Grey Owl' is a selection, a female clone, of Juniperus virginiana (Eastern red cedar) which, according to this USDA Plant Profile Map is native to Ohio but not to Hamilton County. We do not quite understand the "low" designation' as the Grey Owl grows to a mature height of 4-5 ft., and mature width of 6-8 ft. We will go to our Native Plant Database and, using the Combination Search about the middle of that page, select on Ohio for the state, "shrub" for Habit, 1 - 3 ft for Height and "evergreen" for Leaf Retention. This resulted in 11 possibilities. We will suggest some of these, all of which are native to Ohio. Follow each plant link to our weblink on that plant to discover its sunlight, water requirements, and preferred soils. You can use the same procedure to make your own selections:

Juniperus virginiana (Eastern red cedar)

Andromeda polifolia (Bog rosemary)

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (Kinnikinnick)

Epigaea repens (Trailing arbutus)

Gaultheria hispidula (Creeping snowberry)

Gaultheria procumbens (Eastern teaberry)

 

From the Image Gallery


Eastern red cedar
Juniperus virginiana

Bog rosemary
Andromeda polifolia

Kinnikinnick
Arctostaphylos uva-ursi

Trailing arbutus
Epigaea repens

Creeping snowberry
Gaultheria hispidula

Eastern teaberry
Gaultheria procumbens

More Shrubs Questions

Care for Vauquelinia angustifolia (Chisos Rosewood)
June 08, 2008 - Hello, I have another question for you. A friend has given me a plant called "Chisos Rosewood" which they bought on a whim but decided they couldn't use. It's said to be evergreen. It's about...
view the full question and answer

Shrubs and trees over septic tank in Killen AL
May 20, 2013 - Our church has 5year old blue rug juniper, a crape myrtle and two shrubs I can't identify planted over the septic tank which is surrounded with concrete and asphalt. I am afraid these will cause a pr...
view the full question and answer

Smoky Mountains Shaded Slope Plant Suggestions
April 29, 2013 - We live in a very shady spot in Great Smoky Mountains in Western North Carolina. We would like to plant vegetation on a sloped area behind our cottage to stop erosion after building an addition. Our h...
view the full question and answer

Why are the leaves on my Laurel hedge turning brown in Everett, WA?
February 22, 2010 - Our laurel hedge seems to have brown leaves on the top of the bush. We haven't had a freezing winter so we are trying to figure out why some of the leaves are brown.
view the full question and answer

Cold Hardy Hibiscus for Central Texas
April 18, 2015 - What variety of Hibiscus is cold hardy for Central Texas?
view the full question and answer

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