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
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
Not Yet Rated

Monday - April 19, 2010

From: Cape Coral, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Herbs/Forbs, Shrubs
Title: Tropical plants for a pool-side planter in Cape Coral FL
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I live in Southwest Florida and have a pool inside a cage with a pool planter built into the deck around part of the pool. What kind of tropical plants can I put in the planter that are not root invasive so as to not cause damage to the pool walls.

ANSWER:

The first problem we have with dealing with your question is that the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to the use, protection and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which the plants are being grown. That doesn't include a whole lot of "tropical" plants, although Florida is the poster state for having non-native tropicals in their landscapes. We can't recommend any of those, because they are out of our expertise.

We will look in our Native Plant Database for plants native to Cape Coral, Lee County, Florida on the southwestern coast of the peninsula, USDA Hardiness Zones 9b to 10a. First, however, we would like for you to read two of our How-To Articles, A Guide to Native Plant Gardening and Container Gardening with Native Plants. In terms of the roots interfering with your pool wall, since we do not know the exact space involved, we will confine our choices to herbaceous blooming plants that will not have such expansive roots, and perhaps a small shrub or two. We also don't know how much sun these planters will get, so we will choose plants without selecting on Light Requirements. You can follow each plant link to our page on that plant, and determine if it is suitable for your purposes.

Shrubs for Cape Coral FL:

Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry)

Gaylussacia dumosa (dwarf huckleberry)

Hibiscus moscheutos (crimsoneyed rosemallow)

Herbaceous blooming plans for Cape Coral FL:

Helianthus debilis (cucumberleaf sunflower)

Ipomopsis rubra (standing-cypress)

Liatris tenuifolia (shortleaf blazing star) - pictures and more information

Lobelia cardinalis (cardinalflower)

Salvia coccinea (blood sage)

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:


Callicarpa americana

Gaylussacia dumosa

Hibiscus moscheutos

Helianthus debilis

Ipomopsis rubra

Lobelia cardinalis

Salvia coccinea

 

 

 

 

 

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Plants for a Narrow, Dry, Shaded Site in Georgia
April 03, 2014 - I am writing from Valdosta, GA. Could you please suggest three perennial shrubs and/or plants that flower at different times of the spring and summer? Also ones that can be planted in a 2 ft. wide s...
view the full question and answer

Appearance of Viola lanceolota after controlled burn
March 28, 2009 - Oh Great Green Guru, I just recently found Viola lanceolota (bog white violet) on a portion of Brazos Bend State Park’s prairie that was burned about 2 months ago to control for woody growth. (I wou...
view the full question and answer

Salt tolerant plants for shade on tidal inlet in NY
August 11, 2013 - Are there any salt water tolerant grasses or forbs with deep roots that grow in shade? I live on a tidal inlet/canal on Long Island NY. The southern bank has cedars and oaks but the soil is eroding ...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification from Prairie Village KS
August 25, 2012 - My friend has identified this plant as a Horseweed. It is 3 1/2 to 4 feet tall. Has a thick, fuzzy single stem. Linear leaves, about 3/4 inch across and 3 or 4 inches long with one or two notches on e...
view the full question and answer

Failure of tall garden phlox buds to open in St. Louis MO
July 30, 2009 - Why won't the buds of my tall garden phlox open? Plants are apparently healthy, no powdery mildew or visible insects, foliage looks great and buds are profuse but they don't open. I have two clumps ...
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center