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?

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

Saturday - February 25, 2006

From: Dayton, NJ
Region: Northeast
Topic: Ferns, Herbs/Forbs, Shrubs
Title: Low cost, low maintenance, water tolerants native plants for New Jersey
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I am planning a bed around my deck which will include shrubs and flowers. I am looking for plants that require a lot of water due to the wet soil conditions and poor drainage in my yard. Do you have any suggestions for low-cost, low-maintenance plants?

ANSWER:

Here are a few suggestions that are commercially available:

Taller shrubs (6-12 feet)
1. Baccharis, or Sea myrtle (Baccharis halimifolia)
2. Coastal sweet-pepperbush (Clethra alnifolia)

Smaller shrubs (<6 feet):
3. Black huckleberry (Gaylussacia baccata) with orange and red leaves in the fall.
4. Bog-laurel (Kalmia polifolia), an evergreen
5. Rusty Labrador-tea (Ledum groenlandicum), also evergreen
6. Wax myrtle (Morella cerifera), available in a dwarf version and also evergreen.

Wildflowers:
7. Milk vetch (Astragalus canadensis)
8. Yellow marsh-marigold (Caltha palustris)
9. Great blue flag (Iris virginica)
10. Cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis)
11. Wrinkle-leaf goldenrod (Solidago rugosa)

Fern:
12. Cinnamon fern (Osmunda cinnamomea)

On the Native Plants Database search page, select "Narrow your search" under Combination Search and you can search for more plants for New Jersey using plant characteristics and growing conditions. You can find commercial sources for these plants in the National Suppliers Directory.

 

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Stabilizing a lakeside slope from Bracey, VA
May 24, 2012 - We are trying to beautify and stabilize a relatively large lakeside steep slope with a southern exposure in central Virginia. The soil is characterized by red clay and shale rock. How can we turn this...
view the full question and answer

Flowering native perennials for St. Louis
August 09, 2007 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I'm trying to landscape a yard that sits on rocky clay soil in St. Louis, MO. The front yard has been difficult because of its brutal southern exposure - the afternoon sun ...
view the full question and answer

Butterfly plants from Austin TX
December 17, 2012 - I have a butterfly garden in the front part of the house facing the south side. However it is also mostly under a few Oak trees that cast shadow over half of the front yard starting early afternoon. ...
view the full question and answer

Hanging Baskets for Batson, TX
May 23, 2014 - What plants can I put in hanging baskets for my shady porch?
view the full question and answer

Lilies not blooming from Austin
May 03, 2013 - Last December 8, you published a letter in the Statesman that I had written to you regarding Rain Lilies, Oxblood Lilies, and Copper Lilies. The were sprouting in my garage in a bag. You recommended...
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center