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

Tuesday - April 24, 2012

From: Austin, TX
Region: Select Region
Topic: Watering
Title: Harvesting washer rinse cycle water from Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford


Mr. Smarty Plants, My question is different. I am "harvesting" 8-9 gallons from the rinse cycle in my top loading washer. I was told not to use this water on vegetables, just shrubs and flowers. Is this true? We also get 2 gallons of cold water for each shower we take.


Your question is different, all right, in that it concerns using "greywater" for use on gardens. Our line is the garden plants themselves, all native to Texas (in your case), of course. Since we have no experience with this beyond taking dishwashing water (no dishwashers in those days) out to try to keep some pathetic zinnias alive during the drought in the early 1950's, we will find some websites where you can get information and links to other sites.

sustainablesources.com Greywater Irrigation

The Austin Chronicle - The Old Grey Mire

Mr. Smarty Plants Previous Question, from Nagpur, India: Effects of Greywater on Plants and Soil

Austin Empowers Water Conservation Movement


More Watering Questions

Failure to thrive of closet plant
August 13, 2008 - I have a closet plant that is old and was doing fine and then started having droopy leaves. It needed to be in a larger pot so I transplanted into a larger pot with new potting soil. It continues to...
view the full question and answer

New growth on live oaks in Houston
September 27, 2011 - My 2 10yr. old live oaks are putting out new growth (branches?) although, here in Houston, TX we are having such a drought. For the last 3 months, I have conscientiously watered my entire yard via ...
view the full question and answer

Protection for plants against a Spring freeze from Easley SC
April 15, 2014 - Is there anything we can do to protect our beautiful spring gardens from the freeze tonight? (April 15, 2014)
view the full question and answer

Recycling bath water from Austin
July 03, 2012 - Is using bath water going to hurt my plants or grass? If I use water from the bath on vegetables and fruits will the soap be absorbed by the fruit and/or vegetables thereby transferring to us when we ...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting a non-native rose from Akron OH
August 30, 2012 - Can I transplant a rose plant that I have in sunny area to an area that will be partially shady?
view the full question and answer

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