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
2 ratings

Wednesday - June 26, 2013

From: Port Arthur, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Seeds and Seeding
Title: Seeding the opposite bank of a canal in Texas
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

We have a canal in our backyard. I thought it would be lovely to have flowers growing on the opposite bank. I could get to it to toss seeds, but not plant anything in the dirt because the ground slopes down quickly. Do you know of any flowering plants that 1. reseed and 2. could have their seeds tossed rather than planted? Probably not, but I thought I'd at least ask. Thank you for your time.

ANSWER:

One possibility is to toss seed balls over to the opposite bank.  You can even make your own. Of course, if it's very steep they are likely to roll down the bank, but maybe not.  You might consider using a slingshot that would send them into the bank with a little force so that they wouldn't roll down.  Here are some other versions of distributing seeds: 

You can visit our Texas-East Recommended page to look for possibilities for seeds to include in the seed balls.  I don't know the growing conditions (soil moisture, available sunlight, etc.) for the location but I'll bet there is plenty of sun there and probably some moisture.  With that in mind, I have found a few possibilities on the list from the Texas-East Recommended page.

Andropogon glomeratus (Bushy bluestem) is a very attractive grass.   It is perennial and requires sun and moisture.  It tolerates salinity.

Coreopsis lanceolata (Lanceleaf coreopsis) grows in sun, part shade and shade and does well in dry soil.   It is listed as a not a reliable perennial, but it readily self-sows.

Coreopsis tinctoria (Plains coreopsis) grows in sun and part shade and likes moist soil.

Gaillardia pulchella (Firewheel) grows in sun and part shade and dry soil.

Achillea millefolium (Common yarrow) grows in sun and part shade and dry soil.

Chasmanthium latifolium (Inland sea oats) grows best in shade or part shade.

Conoclinium coelestinum (Blue mistflower) grows in sun and part shade and is a butterfly magnet.

There are lots more possibilities that you can check out on the Texas-East Recommended page.

Here is an additional spectaclar one that doesn't appear on that list, but that I know grows along canals and in ditches in the area.

Hydrolea ovata (Blue water leaf) grows in part shade and can grow in standing water.

Finally, here are some suggestions for seed mixtures for seed balls from the North Texas Chapter of Texas Master Naturalist.

 

From the Image Gallery


Bushy bluestem
Andropogon glomeratus

Lanceleaf coreopsis
Coreopsis lanceolata

Plains coreopsis
Coreopsis tinctoria

Blue water leaf
Hydrolea ovata

More Seeds and Seeding Questions

Controlling erosion in Leburn KY
July 21, 2009 - I would really appreciate advice on controlling a serious erosion problem in eastern Kentucky. The slope is north facing, shady and moist with rich soil. Would prefer to use native Kentucky plants. ...
view the full question and answer

Making sod from native grass seeds from Pflugerville TX
April 28, 2012 - I am trying to install a native lawn. A story on KVUE suggested 2 lb Buffalo, 1.5 lb Blue Grama, and 6 oz of Curly Mesquite. I have some seeds purchased from seedsource.com about 2 years ago. I can...
view the full question and answer

When to plant wildflowers in California
December 10, 2013 - When is the best time to plant wildflowers in California?
view the full question and answer

Spreading bluebonnets in pasture from Ledbetter TX
April 29, 2013 - I've found a small patch of bluebonnets in my back pasture in Ledbetter, tx. What is the best method of encouraging their spread across the pasture? I've heard that one can pull up the plants and ...
view the full question and answer

Mail order source for Guaiacum angustifolium from Ft. Worth TX
April 16, 2014 - Do you have a mail order source for the seeds of Guaiacum angustifolium? I have looked extensively and cannot find one. Thank you!
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.