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

Wednesday - May 09, 2012

From: Zionsville, IN
Region: Midwest
Topic: Rain Gardens
Title: Raingardens in Indiana
Answered by: Anne Ruggles

QUESTION:

I need to have annual native plants to add to a demonstration rain garden to fill in while we wait for the perennial plants to mature. The only plant I can think of is annual phlox. Do you have any other suggestions? The rain garden is located in Zionsville, IN, it is a part to full sun location, with amended soil that contains a mix of loam soil with quick draining sand. We have hot, humid summers. I would appreciate any suggestions you can make.

ANSWER:

What a wonderful project and congratulations on choosing to use native plants. If you haven’t already contacted the Indiana Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts they may be able to help you as well. They have an extensive website devoted to rain gardening. with links to plant lists, how-to's, etc.

A good place to start in building a list of potential species is the Wildflower Center’s web page. Go to the “Explore Plants” tab, click on it and in the drop-down menu click on the “Recommended Species” link.  Click on Indiana on the map and you will be taken to a list of species native to Indiana. You can use the criteria on the right side of the page to narrow your search.

Doing a quick search we found:

Chamaecrista fasciculata  (Partridge pea, Sleepingplant, Sensitive plant) is a 1-3 ft. annual with showy yellow flowers. It does well in full sun and well-drained soils. This is very attractive to insect pollinators.   

Rudbeckia hirta (Blackeyed Susan) is very plastic, growing as an annual and short-lived biennial. It prefers sunny locations on well-drained soil. This, too, is attractive to insect pollinators.   

 

To find suppliers of seeds or plants in your area you go to the Wildflower Center web site, click on the "Explore Plants" tab, then on Suppliers in the drop-down menu to find suppliers in your area.

 

From the Image Gallery


Partridge pea
Chamaecrista fasciculata

Black-eyed susan
Rudbeckia hirta

Black-eyed susan
Rudbeckia hirta

More Rain Gardens Questions

Plants for difficult site in Jacksonville, TX
July 07, 2010 - East Texas (Cherokee County) red clay hillside, hard-packed, difficult to get to, 40' of it slopes 4' down in about 6'! Another 30' of it is flat. Between the hillside and the flat clay area is a...
view the full question and answer

Riverbank retention in VA
March 26, 2012 - I need some groundcover/bank retention for a Virginia riverbank in mixed sun and shade. I want to plant something native to VA. the area is out of the water but subject to occasional (4-5 times per y...
view the full question and answer

Rain garden plants for Central Texas
February 06, 2014 - Do you have a list of rain garden plants for Central Texas?
view the full question and answer

Bioswale for Indianapolis
September 13, 2009 - The city of Indianapolis has a very historic Central Canal, which was built in the 1830s. Due to erosion, the parent company of Indianapolis Water, Veolia, has proposed covering the banks with a type ...
view the full question and answer

Rain garden plants for DC
March 23, 2011 - Please recommend deep-rooted, native, perennial plants, 1-3 feet high, for an area that is moist and gets approximately 3 hours of day of afternoon sun. During rain storms this garden is in a low area...
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center