En Español

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?


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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - June 27, 2013

From: Griffin, GA
Region: Southeast
Topic: Cacti and Succulents, Herbs/Forbs, Shrubs, Trees
Title: Plants for area around salt water pool
Answered by: Nan Hampton


What are some plants that will grow around my salt water pool where there is some salt water runoff occasionally.


The University of Georgia Marine Extension Service has a list, Salt-Tolerant Ocean Beach Native Plants for Coastal Georgia, and the Pender County Office of North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service has a publication, Salt Tolerant Plants Recommended for Pender County Landscaping, that lists salt-tolerant plants and designates which plants are native plants.  Even though North Carolina is not too far from you the native plants listed are not necessarily native to your part of Georgia and even those from the Georgia list are not necessarily native to Spalding County since the list features coastal plants.  I have listed a few of those that are native to Spalding County or an adjacent county in Georgia:

Morella cerifera (Wax myrtle) (synonym=Myrica cerifera) is an evergreen shrub or small tree.  It is highly salt tolerant.

Persea borbonia (Redbay) is an evergreen shrub or small tree and is highly salt tolerant.

Prunus angustifolia (Chickasaw plum) is a deciduous small tree and is highly salt tolerant.

Ilex glabra (Inkberry) is an evergreen shrub that is moderately salt tolerant.

Yucca filamentosa (Adam's needle) is evergreen and moderately salt tolerant.

Gaillardia pulchella (Firewheel) is a perennial and highly salt tolerant.

Asclepias tuberosa (Butterflyweed) is a perennial and moderately salt tolerant.

Opuntia humifusa (Devil's-tongue) (synonym=Opuntia compressa) is evergreen and highly salt tolerant.

Heterotheca subaxillaris (Camphorweed) is a perennial and moderately salt tolerant.

Monarda punctata (Spotted beebalm) is a perennial and moderately salt tolerant.

Salvia lyrata (Lyreleaf sage) is a perennial and moderately salt tolerant.

Salvia urticifolia (Nettleleaf sage) is a perennial and moderately salt tolerant.

There are some other choices on these two lists that might interest you.  To check to see if they are native to Spalding County or nearby locations, search in our Native Plant Database (use the scientific name).  When you reach the species page, scroll to the bottom of the page to the ADDITIONAL RESOURCES area and click on the USDA link.   On the USDA Plants Database page for the species, click on Georgia on the Distribution Map and it will display a map showing the county distribution of the plant in Georgia.   You can also search directly in the USDA Plants Database (again, use the scientific name) to reach the distribution map for the plant.


From the Image Gallery

Wax myrtle
Morella cerifera

Persea borbonia

Chickasaw plum
Prunus angustifolia

Ilex glabra

Adam's needle
Yucca filamentosa

Indian blanket
Gaillardia pulchella

Asclepias tuberosa

Low prickly pear
Opuntia humifusa

Heterotheca subaxillaris

Spotted beebalm
Monarda punctata

Lyreleaf sage
Salvia lyrata

Nettleleaf sage
Salvia urticifolia

More Trees Questions

Are Mesquite (Prosopis) pods safe for dogs to eat?
June 15, 2009 - are pods from mesquite trees posionus to dogs if they chew or eat them?
view the full question and answer

Sap oozing from trunks of Cherry Laurels in Austin, TX
January 24, 2015 - I have several mature compact cherry laurels whose leaves are beginning to turn yellow. They are in raised beds, have been properly fertilized, have compost spread around them, and are properly water...
view the full question and answer

Fraxinus cuspidata (Fragrant Ash)
May 30, 2008 - Two part question: 1) Will fragrant (flowering; Fraxinus cuspidata) ash survive in Zone 7b? 2) Where can I get it?
view the full question and answer

Problems with Mountain Laurel in Leander TX
June 15, 2009 - My 13 yr old Mountain Laurel tree is sick. It has lost most of its leaves after blooming this spring. The twigs seem to still be pliable so I assume alive. I saw no moth worms or bags this year, ju...
view the full question and answer

Japanese lilac trees in Lehi UT
July 31, 2010 - Dear Mr. Smarty Pants, We live in Utah and this past spring planted three Japanese Lilac Trees in the lawn next to the deck hoping they would one day provide some shade. They are planted in full sun ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center