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
5 ratings

Tuesday - May 16, 2006

From: Round Rock, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Water Gardens
Title: Native plants for seasonal poor drainage
Answered by: Dean Garrett

QUESTION:

I have an area in my front yard that has a drainage ditch running through it. When it rains, that area stays very wet. What kind of plants available for sale will work in this situation?

ANSWER:

There are several plants native to Central Texas that do well in seasonal poor drainage. Some of these require sun and some require dappled shade. Click on the links to learn more about them.

Large Trees

Bald Cypress (Taxodium distichum)

Small Trees/Large Shrubs

Dwarf Palmetto (Sabal minor)
Yaupon Holly (Ilex vomitoria)
Possumhaw (Ilex decidua)
Carolina Buckthorn (Frangula caroliniana)
Roughleaf Dogwood (Cornus drummondii)

Small, Flowering Shrubs

Shrubby White Mistflower (Ageratina havanensis)

Perennial Flowers

Spring Obedient Plant (Physostegia intermedia
Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis)
Big Red Sage (Salvia penstemonoides)
Tall Goldenrod (Solidago canadensis)

Annual Flowers

Texas Bluebells (Eustoma exaltata var. grandiflora)
Plains Coreopsis (Coreopsis tinctoria)

Bunchgrasses

Inland Sea Oats (Chasmanthium latifolium)
Bushy Bluestem (Andropogon glomeratum)

Ferns

River Fern (Thelypteris kunthii)

The trees, shrubs, and several of the others plants listed here are seasonally available at Barton Springs Nursery in Austin and Natives of Texas nursery in Medina. Seeds of the flowers and grasses are seasonally available from Native American Seed in Junction. Check our National Suppliers Directory for additional sources.

Taxodium distichum

Sabal minor

Ilex vomitoria

Ilex decidua

Frangula caroliniana

Cornus drummondii

Ageratina havanensis

Physostegia intermedia

Lobelia cardinalis

Salvia penstemonoides

Solidago canadensis

Eustoma exaltatum ssp. russellianum

Coreopsis tinctoria

Chasmanthium latifolium

Andropogon glomeratus

Thelypteris kunthii
 

More Water Gardens Questions

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

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

Plants for a pond bank in Gladwin MI
September 13, 2009 - Our acre-size pond bank is sloped and high maintenance--needs mowed. We have lots of deer. We would like to plant a low-lying ground cover to eliminate mowing the bank--any suggestions?
view the full question and answer

Erosion prevention on shady Pennsylvania stream
July 28, 2011 - I'm looking for a few species to plant along a stream channel to help reduce erosion during heavy rains. The soil is moist and in full shade. Ferns and thorny bushes are the only current vegetation...
view the full question and answer

Eliminating Najas flexilis from a pond
December 22, 2014 - What method would be effective in eliminating Najas Flexilis from a pond?
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