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?

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
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
1 rating

Saturday - February 19, 2005

From: Canyon Lake, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Water Gardens
Title: BEST plants for keeping water clean
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

We're in the process of building a small swimming pool that will utilize Texas native bog and marginal plants to clean the water for the pool. Do you know of some good resources (i.e. online, books, businesses, etc.) to consult and/purchase plants? Also what are the BEST plants for keeping water clean?

ANSWER:

An article on natural swimming pools by Mother Earth News has a wealth of information on the subject--including building, maintaining, and selecting appropriate plants for your pool. You can also find information about water gardening on the Wildflower Center web page by selecting Explore Plants from the side bar, next select Clearinghouse Publications, then Native Plant Library. You will find a 2 page PDF file titled "Water Gardening" that you can download.

The Austin Pond Society web page has links to regional water gardening nurseries where you might find the following recommended native plants: pickerel weed (Pontederia cordata); one of the Texas arrowheads, such as duck-potato (Sagittaria latifolia); one of the Texas horsetails, such as field horsetail (Equisetum arvense); water lilies, such as American water lily (Nympaea odorata) or the yellow water lotus (Nelumbo lutea). Other possibilities are moisture-loving grasses such as bushy bluestem (Andropogon glomeratus) and larger plants such as marshmallow hibiscus.

You can find a list of other native plants for Texas that are aquatic or marsh plants, both large and small, by choosing Explore Plants on the side bar, then Native Plants Database. On that page choose Combination Search and select "Wet" for Soil Moisture and select "Texas" under Select State.

Another web page that may be useful for your project is that of Texas Ponds and Water Gardens.
 

More Water Gardens Questions

Plants for edge of pond
June 23, 2008 - 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 w...
view the full question and answer

Plants for wetlands in Illinois
September 21, 2008 - I have a home that is just above a wetlands in Northern Illinois. It is on a river and the wetlands go from bone dry to under 3 feet of water. The shoreline is beginning to erode where there are no tr...
view the full question and answer

Remake of church grotto in Highlands, TX
April 24, 2010 - I'm looking to reform our Church Grado. I would like some beautiful (fitting) flowers that are native to Texas. Low upkeep preferred. Possible some nice water flowers to put into waterways. Plan to a...
view the full question and answer

Plants for area around a fountain in full sun near Dallas
May 19, 2010 - I'm seeking advice on what I can plant around the base of a fountain, in full sun, that can tolerate the fountain water splash/spray. I'm seeking something that can be maintained to a maximum h...
view the full question and answer

Plants for wet soils in North Carolina
October 03, 2009 - I'm looking for evergreen plants (shrubs or ground cover)that will tolerate wet conditions for the zone 8 area of North Carolina. The local garden centers here do not stock these types of plants, eve...
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.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center