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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

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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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!

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Sunday - May 11, 2014

From: Edmond, OK
Region: Southwest
Topic: Watering
Title: List of plants that tolerate
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Could I get a list of "grey water" tolerant shrubs/evergreens/etc? *Full sun

ANSWER:

We don't have a specific list of plants that tolerate "grey water", but we can give you some links to information about what plants do best in grey water.  According the Washington State Department of Health in their article Watering Plants with Greywater plants that do NOT do well with grey water irrigation are those that are shade-loving and require acidic soils.   According to Graywater Gardening the soaps you use affect the pH level.  This article gives you hints on how to minimize the effect of high pH levels on plants.

Plants that like full sun are not as likely to be acid-loving plants as those that grow in shady, wooded areas.  You may have more of a problem with drainage in western Oklahoma County which appears to have clayey soils that may not drain well.

You can do COMBINATION SEARCH in our Native Plants Database yourself to look for plants your particular criteria:  shrubs that grow in sun.  First, choose "Oklahoma" from the Select State or Province option, then select "Shrub" from the Habit (general appearance) and finally, "Sun..." under Light Requirement.  You can add or change criteria to do several searches.   When you access the species page you can check the GROWING CONDITIONS section to find the Soil ph and Soil Description.  Here are a few suggestions using this method:

Ilex vomitoria (Yaupon) evergreen

Rhus glabra (Smooth sumac) deciduous

Ceanothus herbaceus (Redroot) deciduous

Forestiera pubescens (Stretchberry) deciduous

Physocarpus opulifolius (Atlantic ninebark) deciduous

Rhus aromatica (Fragrant sumac) deciduous

Sphaeralcea coccinea (Scarlet globemallow) deciduous

Sabal minor (Dwarf palmetto) evergreen

Yucca glauca (Soapweed yucca) evergreen

You can do various searches yourself to look for other possibilities.

You can also read the answer to a previous question to Mr. Smarty Plants to learn more about plants and grey water.

 

From the Image Gallery


Yaupon
Ilex vomitoria

Smooth sumac
Rhus glabra

Prairie redroot
Ceanothus herbaceus

Elbow bush
Forestiera pubescens

Atlantic ninebark
Physocarpus opulifolius

Fragrant sumac
Rhus aromatica

Scarlet globemallow
Sphaeralcea coccinea

Dwarf palmetto
Sabal minor

Soapweed yucca
Yucca glauca

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