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

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.

 

More Rain Gardens Questions

Native plants for high moisture area in Aspen CO
March 23, 2011 - We live near Aspen, CO at about 7,000 ft elevation. We have a seasonal creek running through our yard with large amounts of fertilization from farms in the water and a very high water table with tons ...
view the full question and answer

Looking for native plants for a rain garden in Arlington, TX.
March 12, 2012 - I am looking for native Texas plants that would do well in rain gardens. Do you have any suggestions?
view the full question and answer

Rain garden for South Austin
March 01, 2010 - I have a TINY yard in south Austin. It is 8'x25', sandwiched between four houses and happens to be at the lowest elevation, so all of the neighbor's yards drain to ours. Originally, we had bermud...
view the full question and answer

Managing a wet area in Austin
November 18, 2013 - I suspect that my backyard lies at the very top of a creek watershed. However, all of the water flowing through it gets blocked by a solid stone wall. Whenever we get a significant rain event, part ...
view the full question and answer

Native plants for a bioswale in Indianapolis
March 07, 2009 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, Can you please recommend the types of plants I should use in a bioswale or rain garden in Indiana?
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center