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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 is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Tuesday - July 19, 2005

From: Alhambra, CA
Region: California
Topic: Rain Gardens
Title: Smarty Plants on water-absorbing plants
Answered by: Nan Hampton and Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

I am looking for water-absorbing plants for L.A. zone. I am hoping this type of vegetation would ease the water retention problem at the planter right next to my basement. Is this a feasible solution?

ANSWER:

You don't say what the source of your water is and whether it is there all the time or only intermittently. Using plants that like to grow in wet spots might help to absorb excess water, but if the source is intermittent you will be faced with watering the plants during dry periods. Your best bet might be to install a French drain to solve the problem of water retention. You can find more instructions for French drains by searching the internet. Visit the webpage of El Nativo Growers, Inc. from Azusa, California for a list of native plants of California that will grow in or near water. You can also find a list of California native plants sorted by water needs in the Theodore Payne Foundation California Native Plant Library.

 

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