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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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Tuesday - June 23, 2009

From: Lawrenceburg, TN
Region: Southeast
Topic: Watering
Title: Plants around swimming pool
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

What kind of plants can I plant around my swimming pool and will not be harmed by the chemicals of the pool?

ANSWER:

First, you should check Mr. Smarty Plant's answer to a previous question about using chlorinated swimming pool water on plants. Unless you are using the newly "shocked" swimming pool water to water your plants, it isn't likely to affect them.  And, assuming that chlorine is the chemical you use in your pool and the one that you are concerned about, you can even use the drained pool water to irrigate landscaping if you allow the chlorine to dissipate before using it.  According to Clemson University (reported by Harnett County, North Carolina Extension Agent), "there should be no effect on nearby plants if pool water is splashed on them by normal sized cannon ballers.  Larger plants (and animals) can tolerate the concentrations that are recommended for pool water." 

For plants to be successful around the pool, you need to consider the plant's requirements and the environmental conditions that exist at the pool. For instance, if your pool is in full sun, you wouldn't want to choose plants that grow best in shade or part shade.   If the plants are going to be splashed a great deal, you don't want to use plants that prefer dry conditions.

You can go to our Recommended Species page and select Tennessee from the map or pull-down menu to find a list of commercially available native species for landscaping in the state.  You can use the NARROW YOUR SEARCH option to select the type of plant (General Appearance) and the proper Light Requirement and Soil Moisture.

 

 

 

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