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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.

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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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Monday - May 20, 2013

From: San Antonio, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shade Tolerant, Shrubs
Title: Evergreen flowering shrub for San Antonio, TX
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Need a suggestion for an evergreen flowering bush, 3 ft tall for shady area by front door. Have gardenia bushes there now - did well until we had a hard freeze and have struggled ever since. Ideas please!

ANSWER:

Small evergreen flowering shrubs are not a problem to find for your area, but ones will do well in shade are more difficult.  Three of the ones suggested below grow in part shade (2 to 6 hours of sun per day); however, the Autumn sage prefers full sun but it might be OK if there is ome period of sunlight on the area and if the shade is filtered sunlight.

Larrea tridentata (Creosote bush) can be pruned like boxwood.  Here is more information from Southeastern Arizona Wildflowers.  Grows best in part shade.

Leucophyllum frutescens (Cenizo) is generally evergray, rather than evergreen, but there are varieties that have green leaves.  There are also dwarf varieties but the regular size shrub can be pruned to size.  Here is more information from Aggie Horticulture and information about several varieties from Floridata.  Grows in sun and part shade.

Mahonia trifoliolata (Agarita) is a prickly shrub that has small fragrant flowers in the spring followed by red berries.  Here is more information from Aggie Horticulture.  It grows best in sun but will also grow in part shade.

Salvia greggii (Autumn sage) is a soft low shrub that should remain evergreen in San Antonio.  It can bloom with, usually, red flowers from March to October.  Here is more information from Aggie Horticulture.  Requires full sun.

 

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