Explore Plants

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
    
 

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

Monday - May 13, 2013

From: San Francisco, CA
Region: California
Topic: Water Gardens, Herbs/Forbs
Title: How to keep plants alive in a pot beside a patio waterfall.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

Mr. Smarty Plants, I have a waterfall on my patio and I can't keep my plants alive in the flower pot next to waterfall. Is that beacuse of algae produced by waterfall? If so, can you please recommend what type of plants would grow well in that flower pot. I do clean the waterfall to keep the algae at bay. I live in San Francisco, CA, the area does get good afternoon sun. Thanking you in advance for your help with this. Sincerely,

ANSWER:

You don't mention the kind of plants you have in the pot, but my guess is that the culprit is too much water; not the algae.

To look for some suitable plants for this situation, let me introduce you to our Native Plant Database  which allows you to search for 7,371 native plants by scientific or common name, or choose a particular family of plants. Scroll down to our Recommend Species Lists and click on View Recommend Species page. Click on Northern California on the map, and you will get a list of 286 commercially available native plant species suitable for planned landscapes in California.  The Narrow Your Search box on the right side of the screen allows you to search for herbs that may be suited for your patio.  For example, in the box, select: California under State, herb under General Appearance, and perennial under Duration. Check both Sun and Part shade under Light requirement and wet under Soil moisture. Click on the Narrow your Search button, and you will get a  list of 12 native herbs for California that meet these criteria. Clicking on the scientific name of each plant will bring up its NPIN page which has a description of the plant along with growth characteristics and requirements, and in most cases, photos. As you look through the list, try to match up the plant with your growing conditions.

Here is a previous answer for a question from California that is similar. In your case, the problem seems to be too much water; in the previous question, it is too much shade. I think there is some information you can use here.

 

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Texas natives to plant in July and August
July 23, 2008 - My husband and I have a disaster of a lawn that we were planning to develop slowly, over time, with a sustainable design we contracted from a landscape designer. However, we are having to move out of...
view the full question and answer

Should black-eyed susan (Rudbeckia hirta) plants be cut back
May 02, 2007 - I have black-eyed susan plants that were beautiful last year and flowered for a long time. Do they need to be cut back and if so, how much?
view the full question and answer

Managing non-native invasive creeping yellow cress in Rio Medina TX
January 10, 2012 - Due to my lawn mower dying and waiting for the shop to fix it my yard got a bit overgrown. I was walking around the yard looking at the blooming wildflowers and have discovered that one of them is Ror...
view the full question and answer

Dividing blackeyed susans in Lake Ronkoko NY
July 06, 2009 - How are you supposed to divide blackeyed susan's? And when is the best time to do this?
view the full question and answer

Information about Berlandiera spp. from DeLand FL
May 26, 2011 - I am looking for information (something cool) about green eyes, Berlandiera spp. Information such as any medical use or story associated with the plant. Thanks
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.