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
Not Yet Rated

Monday - June 23, 2008

From: Atlanta, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Water Gardens, Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Plants for edge of pond
Answered by: Nan Hampton


We live in Atlanta, Texas. My husband built a beautiful pond that is almost an acre in size. We are fortunate in that one side of the pond is covered by trees and a natural ground cover that keeps weeds and grass from growing. He is constantly having to use the weedeater on the edge of the pond closest to our house to keep the grass from getting too high. Is there anything we can do to the edge of the pond to get rid of the grass..any spray or other plants we could use?


Mr. Smarty Plants is pretty sure you don't want use any sort of herbicide spray there because it will likely affect all plants nearby, not just the ones you want to get rid of. My suggestion is to plant attractive plants along the edge of the pond that you won't mind having grow a bit tall. Here are some recommendations that are native and do well in moist areas in full sun:

Ornamental grasses

These grasses look good when they are green and when they have matured and turned brown.

Chasmanthium latifolium (Inland sea oats)

Andropogon glomeratus (bushy bluestem)

Elymus canadensis (Canada wildrye)


These are grass-like, but usually shorter than grasses and many are evergreen. Here are a couple of suggestions:

Carex blanda (eastern woodland sedge)

Carex cherokeensis (Cherokee sedge)

Semi-aquatic plants

These will grow in shallow water at the edge of the pond or in moist areas on solid ground. 

Hydrocotyle umbellata (manyflower marshpennywort)

Equisetum hyemale (scouringrush horsetail)

Lobelia cardinalis (cardinalflower)

Chasmanthium latifolium

Andropogon glomeratus

Elymus canadensis

Carex blanda

Carex cherokeensis

Hydrocotyle umbellata

Equisetum hyemale

Lobelia cardinalis




More Water Gardens Questions

Pond plants that ducks will NOT eat
March 27, 2009 - What kind of pond plants are there that ducks will NOT eat?
view the full question and answer

Planting instructions for horsetail
March 10, 2009 - Re: Equisetum hyemale L. Canuela, Horsetail, Scouring rush, Scouringrush horsetail I bought a 1-gal Equisetum hyemale for my seep/pond. In searching the web, I find conflicting planting instructions...
view the full question and answer

How to keep plants alive in a pot beside a patio waterfall.
May 13, 2013 - Mr. Smarty Plants, I have a waterfall on my patio and I can't keep my plants alive in the flower pot next to waterfall. Is that beacuse of algae produced by waterfall? If so, can you please recomme...
view the full question and answer

Flowering vine for trellis behind fountain in Anaheim Hills CA
June 05, 2010 - We are looking for a flowering vine to plant on a trellis surrounding a water fountain. The fountain splashes leaving the soil constantly wet. We have tried numerous vines, but they all die due to t...
view the full question and answer

Plants to replace Phragmites australis (Common reed) in Cedar Ridge Preserve
February 25, 2015 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I live in the DFW area and volunteer at a preserve (Cedar Ridge). We are constantly battling the common reed, Phragmites australis, around the pond. I am wondering what shou...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center