Explore Plants

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
    
 

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 - April 30, 2011

From: Fredonia, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Water Gardens
Title: Plants for NY wetland yard
Answered by: Brigid & Larry Larson

QUESTION:

We have standing water in our yard for the entire spring and sometimes summer if it's a rainy one. We dug a ditch and found that our yard has a natural spring, which explains a lot. I need to know what plants I can put in my garden that will LOVE the water. What do you suggest?

ANSWER:

Sure, New York has a selection of native plants that love a wet soil.  Your yard is likely not the only place with a natural spring bubbling up!

For selecting plants, I use the “Recommended Species” webpage, then click on New York and in this case, narrowed my selection down to those that flourish in “Moist-saturated” soils.  This search revealed 22 species of native plants that fit your request.  There were full-fledged trees, ferns and several attractive flowering plants.

Depending on your choice of color and blooming times for flowers, ones that should work well  in that planting include Lobelia cardinalis (Cardinal flower)Lobelia siphilitica (Great blue lobelia) and Rosa palustris (Swamp rose).   The name is a bit indicative, isn’t it!

                   
Lobelia cardinalis
                       Lobelia siphilitica            Rosa palustris

If you are looking for shrubs,  Rhododendron maximum (Great laurel) and Amelanchier canadensis (Canadian serviceberry) are in this selection.  Another plant with a name suggesting its habit is Pteridium aquilinum (Western bracken fern).

                          
Rhododendron maximum
          Amelanchier canadensis          Pteridium aquilinum

   Hopefully this selection method and a little bit of planning for your yard foliage will give you a good wetland garden!

 

More Water Gardens Questions

Plants for pond, for incline and area with poor soil
April 23, 2012 - I have three plant recommendation questions for Austin, TX. 1. I have a large pond that I would like to put native aquatic plants in. What are some hardy aquatic natives I could put in? The pond ...
view the full question and answer

Source for Saltmarsh cordgrass from Houston
April 16, 2013 - I work for a consulting firm and we are looking to do more of our wetland creation/restoration. Do you know where one can purchased Spartina alterniflora?
view the full question and answer

Native plants for a littoral zone in Fort Myers, Florida
June 05, 2009 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, What native plants would you recommend for the littoral zone on a pond in Fort Myers Florida? Damon's Mom
view the full question and answer

Need help replacing a non-functioning pond in Houston, TX.
March 30, 2010 - I have a non-functioning, shell-shaped, concrete pond in a shaded part of my backyard that has been a great place to grow mosquitoes since I got this place. I have decided that it is time for a chang...
view the full question and answer

Plants for pavilion over fountain in Washington State
December 26, 2008 - I have a tall fountain in a 7 foot square which is surrounded by pavers. Inside the 7' square there is about a 2' mulched soil bed around the center fountain and an iron type pavilion that goes up h...
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.