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

Rain Garden plant for N. Mississippi
March 03, 2010 - Rain Garden Plants for North Mississippi/Mid-South Region. I wish the search parameters included plants which tolerate seasonal flooding and droughts, so that each state might search for its own r...
view the full question and answer

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

Need suggestions for plants for bioswales in Philadelphia, PA
August 24, 2015 - Hello, Are there a handful of species you would recommend for inclusion in bioswales throughout the US? I realize plants need to be selected based on climate, but I'm wondering if there are two or...
view the full question and answer

Installation of a bioswale in Decatur IL
July 22, 2009 - I want to install a bioswale in a 15' wide, 50' long ditch on a relatively steep hill. The ditch already has rip rap in it. Do I need to remove all the rip rap before starting construction, or can...
view the full question and answer

Looking for native plants for a rain garden in Arlington, TX.
March 12, 2012 - I am looking for native Texas plants that would do well in rain gardens. Do you have any suggestions?
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 | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center