En Español

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
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - April 24, 2012

From: Hendersonville, NC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Rain Gardens, Grasses or Grass-like, Herbs/Forbs, Shrubs
Title: Retention pond from Hendersonville NC
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

We have a retention pond that has recently been cleaned and we would like to plant perennial native plant and grass seeds that will enhance the appearance and contribute to the natural process of filtration, hold the soil when water is rushing by and permit pollutants in the water to be filtered out. What time of the year should the seed be planted and able to stand generally wet feet?

ANSWER:

From the EPA, here is an article on National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System, which is about retention ponds.

With that in mind, we have two very similar questions in our queue; one is yours from North Carolina and another is from Michigan. We suggest you read the Michigan answers for some background information:

Grand Haven MI

White Lake MI

Mason MI

We found a previous Mr. Smarty Plants question originating from Virginia which we think might have some information of use to you. There are some more links to further information in that, and instructions on using our Native Plant Database. Since we don't know if you want all grasses, how moist your soils are, how much sunlight they will get, etc, we think it would be better if you made your own plant list. Native grasses are certainly the best choice as their long fibrous roots will definitely help to hold the soil. As for the time the seeds should be planted (or plants if you are putting in some shrubs) is dependant on the part of the country. In Texas, we recommend planting grass seeds in mid-April, and hoping for gentle consistent rains, which we seldom get. If you go down the webpage on each plant you are investigating to the bottom you will see a list of Additional Resources. Click on "Search Google for ______ (plant name). Sometimes the webpage will have specific Propagation Instructions on it.

 

 

 

 

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Low maintenance plants for crack in concrete
July 01, 2008 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I would like to grow some very low maintenance weeds, mosses and flowers out of a crack in a slab of concrete. Can you recommend any species that would do well in this sort...
view the full question and answer

Texas native shade plants for metal troughs in Austin
December 22, 2012 - Interested in finding Texas natives that would do well in metal troughs in the shade.
view the full question and answer

Erosion control in West Union IA
June 22, 2010 - Erosion control and native grasses/plants for steep, shady slope in northeast Iowa. We are building a house in northeast Iowa (near West Union in Fayette County). The road that was graded to the ho...
view the full question and answer

Giant Thistle-Like Plant from Elgin, TX
June 01, 2014 - I have a giant thistle like plant in my field we have been unable to identify. It looks like a milk thistle but it is short..only about a foot tall..stocky...and the flowers are giant..about 6 to 8 i...
view the full question and answer

Plants for steep slope in shade in Iowa
July 02, 2010 - I work for a small non-profit shelter here in Dubuque, Ia. that has a very steep slope behind the building that needs some sort of plant or grass planted to stop erosion. The slope gets little to no s...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center