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?


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

Saturday - June 12, 2010

From: Springfield, KY
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Groundcovers, Herbs/Forbs, Shrubs
Title: Plants for pool area in Kentucky
Answered by: Nan Hampton


We live in central Kentucky and have a backyard pool that desperately needs some landscaping. I would like plants that don't drop a lot of leaves or "trash". I'd like a list of great poolside plants, ground cover, shrubs for this area. Many thanks!


You can find a list of commercially available native plants suitable for landscaping on the Kentucky Recommended page.   I've picked a few from that list and added a few others that would do nicely near your pool.  Since I don't know the exact growing conditions at your site (e.g., available sun and moisture) you should read the GROWING CONDITIONS section on each species page to be sure that they fit those of your site.


Glandularia bipinnatifida (Dakota mock vervain)

Fragaria virginiana (Virginia strawberry)

Oenothera speciosa (pinkladies)

Phyla nodiflora (turkey tangle fogfruit)

Salvia lyrata (lyreleaf sage)


Conoclinium coelestinum (blue mistflower)

Rudbeckia hirta (blackeyed Susan)

Monarda fistulosa (wild bergamot)

Phlox divaricata (wild blue phlox)

Lobelia cardinalis (cardinalflower)


Comptonia peregrina (sweet fern)

Hypericum prolificum (shrubby St. Johnswort)

Morella cerifera (wax myrtle)

Hydrangea arborescens (wild hydrangea)

Kalmia latifolia (mountain laurel)

Here are photos from our Image Gallery:

Glandularia bipinnatifida

Fragaria virginiana

Oenothera speciosa

Phyla nodiflora

Salvia lyrata

Conoclinium coelestinum

Rudbeckia hirta

Monarda fistulosa

Phlox divaricata

Lobelia cardinalis

Comptonia peregrina

Hypericum prolificum

Morella cerifera

Hydrangea arborescens

Kalmia latifolia



More Shrubs Questions

Shrubs for planting under hollies in DC
April 01, 2011 - I would like shrub suggestions for planting under holly trees. I live in Washington, DC and have 2 very well-established large holly trees (2 story tall trees) in the front of our house, facing north...
view the full question and answer

Time to cut back Turk's Cap in Austin
January 27, 2011 - I did not find my question answered in the database. My question is: When is the best time to cut back Red Turks Cap? I live in Central Austin.
view the full question and answer

Leaf loss on Cenizo in Bertram TX
November 17, 2009 - I need help with a purple sage (Leucophyllum frutescens) problem. Most of one of my plants started having paler, more greyish leaves, then the leaves began to fall off. It seemed to still look healthy...
view the full question and answer

Planting shrubs and flowers under pine trees in New York
July 15, 2008 - We just started to plant flowers and the whole back side of our yard is pine trees. I was wondering what types of flowers can be planted under them, and what kind of plants or shrubs can be planted un...
view the full question and answer

Native Shrubs to Plant with Viburnum in New Jersey
February 11, 2014 - Please provide me with a list of native shrubs, plants etc. for New Jersey that would work with my existing native viburnum.
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center