Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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
1 rating

Wednesday - May 19, 2010

From: The Colony, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Water Gardens
Title: Plants for area around a fountain in full sun near Dallas
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I'm seeking advice on what I can plant around the base of a fountain, in full sun, that can tolerate the fountain water splash/spray. I'm seeking something that can be maintained to a maximum height of 24-30 inches or so. My preference is a blooming or tropical type of plant, but realizing the unusual setting, will consider anything. Another consideration is that it does not attract bees, as this garden is near an entry door. Thank you in advance for your consideration. I live north of Dallas in Denton County.

ANSWER:

If the soil around the fountain is damp, or even better, really wet, you could use a fern such as Osmunda cinnamomea (cinnamon fern).  I could guarantee you that no bees would be attracted to it since it isn't a flowering plant.  Another plant for very moist soil that would not attract bees is Equisetum hyemale (scouringrush horsetail).

Here are several plants that tolerate moist soil, are within your preferred size range, and grow in full sun.  They will attract butterflies and perhaps an occasional bee, but they wouldn't be especially attractive to the bees.

Asclepias tuberosa (butterfly milkweed)

Calylophus berlandieri ssp. pinifolius (Berlandier's sundrops)

Lobelia cardinalis (cardinalflower)

Oenothera speciosa (pinkladies)

Salvia lyrata (lyreleaf sage)

You can look for more possibilities on our Texas-North Central Recommended page.  You can use the NARROW YOUR SEARCH option to limit the search to fit your criteria (e.g.,select 'Sun..' from LIGHT REQUIREMENT and 'Moist' from SOIL MOISTURE).

Here are photos of the plants above from our Image Gallery:


Osmunda cinnamomea

Dodecatheon pulchellum

Asclepias tuberosa

Calylophus berlandieri ssp. pinifolius

Lobelia cardinalis

Oenothera speciosa

Salvia lyrata

 

 

 

 

More Water Gardens Questions

Request to use images from Image Gallery
February 04, 2009 - The Nueces River Authority is publishing a riparian plant guide and we would like permission to use one or more of your plant photos. Can you direct me to a person or process for this. Thanks.
view the full question and answer

Plants to replace Phragmites australis (Common reed) in Cedar Ridge Preserve
February 25, 2015 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I live in the DFW area and volunteer at a preserve (Cedar Ridge). We are constantly battling the common reed, Phragmites australis, around the pond. I am wondering what shou...
view the full question and answer

Wetland Plants for Michigan
March 20, 2010 - I have an area on my wooded property with a wetland marsh area that often puddles with water along the perimeter in the spring. It is very shaded and wet but I wanted to camouflage the perimeter of t...
view the full question and answer

Perennial plants for full sun around pond
April 28, 2012 - I am looking for full sun perennial plants for the exterior of a water pond. Planting suggestions?
view the full question and answer

Is the Obedient Plant a bog plant?
August 16, 2008 - I purchased 2 obedient plants at a farmer's market in Michigan. As I was unfamiliar with this plant, the merchant told me it did well in full sun. It was just what I needed. When I got home I look...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.