En EspaŅol

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?


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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
rate this answer
4 ratings

Saturday - February 09, 2008

From: bennington, NE
Region: Midwest
Topic: General Botany
Title: Thickness of liquid when growing plants
Answered by: Barbara Medford


Q: Does the thickness of liquid matter when growing plants?


We're a little confused by your question. Ordinarily, the only liquid that would matter when you are growing plants would be water, and we don't ever remember anyone referring to water as "thick" or "thin". For instance, water can be measured by how deep it is, and if you put two inches of water on a plant all at once, and it's not draining, it could drown the plant. Or, could you mean the water was thick with other things, like dirt, or mud? If you pour muddy water on a plant, the dirt in the water will join the dirt around the plant, and the water will go to the roots, like it's supposed to.

Or were you, perhaps, thinking of reusing water used to wash dishes or clothes, and therefore a little thicker or more dense with soapsuds or food particles. This is called "Gray Water" and in this article on Residential Water Conservation you can read about some of the kinds of leftover water that can be used on plants. The article suggests that such water be used only on ornamental plants, trees or grasses and not on plants that will be eaten, like carrots or lettuce. In drought-stricken area, this may be a way to keep some valuable plants alive. However, many towns and cities have strict rules about what kind of water can be used, and whether it has to be filtered before it is used.

If we still haven't found a way to answer your question, send in another, maybe rewording it a little so we can understand better what you are trying to find out.


More General Botany Questions

Grafting stone fruit
April 02, 2009 - Do you know of anyone grafting the new low chill stone fruit trees to the Mexican plum to minimize cotton rot? Or would it even work?
view the full question and answer

Use of the word annual
May 27, 2015 - Why is the word 'annual' used to describe plants with one grow season, when in all other cases it's used to describe things that reoccur year after year? i.e. Events, celebration, salary?
view the full question and answer

Is there a flower that blooms only once in seven years?
December 17, 2008 - Just wanted to know if there exists a flower that blooms only once in seven years? Thank you!
view the full question and answer

Gardening books for Austin and Central Texas
June 09, 2008 - Hi, I'm looking for a book for my wife. She is a beginning gardener here in Austin. Do you know of an ideal book or two that covers vegetable gardening and gardening in general in Austin/Central Tex...
view the full question and answer

Effect of epsom salts and gray water on plants
December 04, 2007 - We live in Phoenix where water is a precious commodity. We have decided to use as much of the gray water as we can for watering our garden, shrubs and trees. One of the suggestions we heard about w...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center