En Espa—ol

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 16, 2012

From: Eureka Springs, AR
Region: Southeast
Topic: Rain Gardens, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Pond Plants for Eureka Springs AR
Answered by: Brigid & Larry Larson

QUESTION:

I have a 1 acre pond that we are cleaning up. This area will be used for recreation and fishing. We plan to put native rock around some of the edges and need perennial plants that do well in rocky areas sitting close to the water if not in the water. We live in northwest Arkansas and have hot humid summers and sometimes cold icy winters

ANSWER:

Mr Smarty Plants’ normal approach is to point out the “Recommended Species” list and that it can be searched for plants which prefer specific conditions such as “Full Sun” and Soil Moisture: “Wet-Saturated”.

For Arkansas, this yielded the following list of shrubs: Lobelia siphilitica (Great blue lobelia), Hibiscus moscheutos (Crimsoneyed rosemallow), Penstemon digitalis (Mississippi penstemon), Lobelia cardinalis (Cardinal flower), Eupatoriadelphus fistulosus (Trumpetweed), and Silphium terebinthinaceum (Prairie rosinweed).  This should be a good starting list, but also consider the soil conditions you have versus their preferences and any other aspects that may be important to you.  There were also a number of trees suggested that can tolerate these conditions, but it didn’t sound like that was your question.

 I also found a few questions that were similar to yours; you may want to review these answers for additional insight into what you may want to do.  This question considers a similar situation in Kansas.  This one features both native grasses and refers a how-to article on water gardening. Another question discusses a pond in Missouri, and this one is also from Missouri, but focuses on smaller plants so that they can be fished over!

Finally, it's always possible that you can find expert advice at the local chapter of the Arkansas Native Plant Society or at the Carroll County Extension Office.  Another possibility is the Northwest Arkansas Koi and Watergarden Society.  I found contact information here.The Extension Office may be particularly helpful to you as in the same search I found two documents on rainwater gardens [a near relative to what you are doing], and on the use of native plants in rainwater gardens!

 

From the Image Gallery


Crimsoneyed rosemallow
Hibiscus moscheutos

Great blue lobelia
Lobelia siphilitica

Mississippi penstemon
Penstemon digitalis

Cardinal flower
Lobelia cardinalis

Joe-pye weed
Eutrochium fistulosum

Prairie rosinweed
Silphium terebinthinaceum

More Rain Gardens Questions

Groundcover for a wet hillside in the San Juan Islands
July 30, 2014 - I live on Orcas Island in WA state. We have a place on the water and want to plant something that is no taller than 2-3 feet, lower if possible, on a hillside. The hillside gets lots of sun, yet als...
view the full question and answer

Native plants for rain garden in Collin Co., TX
November 09, 2006 - I am developing a Collin County Master Gardenerís program on Rain Gardens (in particular) and Rain Harvesting (generally.) I saw the recent article in your magazine about rain gardens and wondered if ...
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

Rain garden for South Austin
March 01, 2010 - I have a TINY yard in south Austin. It is 8'x25', sandwiched between four houses and happens to be at the lowest elevation, so all of the neighbor's yards drain to ours. Originally, we had bermud...
view the full question and answer

Plants for a ditch in PA
June 09, 2012 - I have a property in the suburbs about 20 miles south of Philadelphia, PA. There is a small creek running across the property. The "ditch" holding the creek is about 5 feet across, but the creek i...
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