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

Tuesday - April 06, 2010

From: Plano, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Container Gardens
Title: Plants for a container bog garden in North Texas
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I live in Plano, just north of Dallas. I've developed a recent interest in water gardens and am considering getting my toes wet with a container bog garden. I have an old galvanized wash tub that I think will be ideal. What native plants would be both small enough and happy in a bog? I've considered Cardinal Flower as it would be a bonus to attract butterflies and hummers to my patio. Any suggestions?

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants doesn't have any "How to Articles" specifically for creating a bog garden; but I do recommend that you read, "Water Gardening" and "How to Create a Water Garden" in our "How to Articles" Both have information that will be useful for your bog garden and although "Water Gardening" addresses a larger project than you are planning, it still has information that will be useful for your smaller project.  For more specific information on bog gardens, however, here are a couple of articles—A Bog Garden by C. Colston Burrell from the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and Build a Simple Bog Garden from Rainy Side Gardeners. We have two plant lists on our Recommended Species page (under "Just for Central Texas") that should be helpful to you for your project—"Pond Plants for Central Texas" and "Wetland Plants for Central Texas".  Here are a few suggestions from these lists that should do well attracting butterflies and hummers to your bog garden in the Plano area:

Asclepias incarnata (swamp milkweed)

Equisetum hyemale (scouringrush horsetail) doesn't attract butterflies or hummingbirds, but will serve as an attractive background for your colorful species and also serves as a good perch for dragonflies.

Lobelia cardinalis (cardinalflower) is an excellent choice.

Physostegia intermedia (slender false dragonhead)

Justicia americana (American water-willow)

Pontederia cordata (pickerelweed)

Rhynchospora colorata (starrush whitetop)

These plants are relatively tall but for low plants, you might consider:

Marsilea macropoda (bigfoot waterclover)

Hydrocotyle umbellata (manyflower marshpennywort)

Bacopa monnieri (herb of grace)

Here are photos of the plants from our Image Gallery:


Asclepias incarnata

Equisetum hyemale

Lobelia cardinalis

Physostegia intermedia

Pontederia cordata

Rhynchospora colorata

Marsilea macropoda

Justicia americana

Hydrocotyle umbellata

Bacopa monnieri

 

 

 

 

More Container Gardens Questions

Care for indoor Lemon Cypress
November 30, 2008 - How do I care for an indoor Lemon Cypress tree?
view the full question and answer

Plants for big pots by pool in Austin
August 14, 2012 - Could you please suggest some plants to put in big pots out by my pool? They will get lots of heat and sun. Thanks.
view the full question and answer

Loss of blooms in potted plants in Hawaii
November 11, 2007 - My lanai is in strong afternoon sun and no matter what "full sun" plants I try to grow they quickly stop blooming. Plumeria, Hibiscus, Echinacea, even Bougainvillea...they continue to grow but lose...
view the full question and answer

Plants for low light in Houston
April 21, 2009 - I moved from a home in New Jersey to an apartment in Houston, TX -inside court - low light. I can't keep houseplants alive., What do you recommend that I try here? Both inside the apartment and on ...
view the full question and answer

A 3-6 ft. high overwintering container plant
November 08, 2011 - I live in Austin, Tx. and am looking for a plant/shrub that I can keep in a ceramic pot through out the winter. It can grow to from 3 feet to six feel.
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