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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


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?


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





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