En Español

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

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!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - March 31, 2005

From: KERMAN, CA
Region: California
Topic: Wildlife Gardens
Title: Duck-resistant plants for pond in California
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I want to plant around a water pond and I need some plants that my ducks will not destroy. Please help.

ANSWER:

First of all, ducks like young plants in particular; so, if you can protect plants until they have matured a bit it is more likely that the ducks will leave them alone. Also, ample supplies of sedges and grasses could divert the ducks from more decorative plants. You can find a very good report, "Plants for Ponds and Pens", in PDF format to download from "Leaflets and Articles" on the British Waterfowl Association page that gives suggestions for establishing plants in duck enclosures.

For suggestions for different plants (trees, shrubs, grasses, ferns, wildflowers, etc.) that are native to California, you can download a PDF file, "Recommended Native Plant Species List", for California from the Native Plant Information Network Regional Factpacks page. Here are a few suggestions from that list that have the potential of being duck-proof once they are established: Different nerve sedge (Carex heteroneura), Bird-foot fern (Pellaea mucronata), Western iris (Iris douglasiana), and Scarlet columbine (Aquilegia formosa). There are many more plants for you to explore on the recommended list.

For any plant you choose, you should determine whether or not it would be toxic for your ducks. You can check this out on the Plants Toxic to Animals database from the Veterinary Medicine Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
 

More Wildlife Gardens Questions

Is Magnolia virginiana (Sweetbay) a major nectar source for honeybees?
January 31, 2015 - Is the Sweetbay Magnolia a major nectar source for honeybees?
view the full question and answer

Evergreens for a deer corridor in MI
April 16, 2012 - I am growing three rows of evergreens for a wildlife, deer travel corridor, and am looking for which trees grow well together and are shade tolerant of each other when planted at the same time, or at ...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen plant with berries for wildlife
September 16, 2007 - We live in central Texas and I am attempting to plant for wildlife. Could you suggest an evergreen, approximately 3-4 feet tall, that would have berries for the birds in the Fall and winter? The pla...
view the full question and answer

Wildflowers for a pond in MO
September 10, 2011 - I have a spring fed pond in Missouri and would like to plant perennial wildflowers in the area around it. Are there any that would do better or others that are not recommended? Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Host plants for Painted Lady Butterflies (Vanessa cardui)
August 22, 2009 - I am looking for host plants for the Painted Lady Butterfly that I can plant in my school's (I am a teacher) native plant/butterfly garden. As part of the curriculum, each Fall our 2nd graders study ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center