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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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Wednesday - January 28, 2009

From: Charleston, SC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Seed and Plant Sources
Title: Plants for a new duck pond that are duck proof
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

Sir. I live in Charleston SC. I dug a pond for ducks in my backyard. I want to plant grass and anything else that will grow around the pond that the ducks won't want to eat up. What should I buy to plant? Thank you very kindly.

ANSWER:

One thing to keep in mind is that eating plants is what ducks do, especially young plants. One strategy is to provide the ducks with plants that you don't mind them eating such as sedges and grasses that can deter the ducks from your other ornamentals..

Mr. Smarty Plants will provide a couple of links that deal with maintaining ponds for ducks, and some sugestions for plants to grow around your pond.

One good source is "Plants for Ponds and Pens", in PDF format to download from "Leaflets and Articles" on the British Waterfowl Association page which gives suggestions for establishing plants in duck enclosures. Another is the Metzer Farms Duck and Goose Hatchery whose web site gives some pointers about eastablshing duck ponds.

Here are a few suggestions for your pond:

Common cat-tail Typha latifolia (broadleaf cattail). This typical marsh perennial can form dense stands. Its aggressive growth will need some manaagement.

Yellow fruit Sedge Carex annectens (yellowfruit sedge)

Broomsedge Bluestem  Andropogon virginicus (broomsedge bluestem) 

Swamp Sunflower  Helianthus angustifolius (swamp sunflower) 

Crimson-eyed rose-mallow  Hibiscus moscheutos (crimsoneyed rosemallow)

Cardinalflower  Lobelia cardinalis (cardinalflower)

You can contact the Charleston chapter of the South Carolina Native plant Society for information.

Whatever plants you choose, you might want to check them with the Toxic to Animals database from the Veterinary Medicine Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign just to be safe.


Typha latifolia

 

 


Carex annectens

 


Andropogon virginicus

 


Helianthus angustifolius

 


Hibiscus moscheutos

 


Lobelia cardinalis

 

 

 

 

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