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?

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

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

Monday - July 08, 2013

From: coopersburg, PA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Herbs/Forbs
Title: Ducks and geese resistant plants for a pond in PA.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

We have a pond in all shade and we have ducks and geese. We would like to plant something in the space between the walkway and the pond to add color, but they have eaten everything we've tried- ferns, daylillies, hosta, pachysandra, impatience and dianthus. We want to still be able to see the pond while sitting on the patio, so it can't be too high- maybe a foot. Suggestions are greatly appreciated.

ANSWER:

First of all, lets look at some plants that might fill the bill from our Native Plant Database . Scroll down to the Combination Search Box and make the following selections: select Pennsylvania under state, herbs under Habit, and Perennial under Duration. Check Shade under Light requirement, and Moist under Soil Moisture. Click on the Submit combination Search button, and you will get a list of 45 native plants meeting these criteria that grow in Pennsylvania.  Clicking on the scientific name of each plant will bring up its NPIN page which contains a description of the plant, growth requirements and and characteristics as well as images.

 Mr. Smarty Plants is wondering about the size of the pond, and whether these are domesticated waterfowl (ie.pets) or free-loading transients?  As you’ve discovered. ducks and geese are herbivores (they eat plants), and may well eat any thing you plant. This article “What do Ducks Eat?” gives us some insight into their dinning habits.

Is removal an option? This article from Penn State University Extension  tells about strategies for controlling nuisance water fowl.

 

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Straggler Daisy as a Groundcover in Salado, TX
October 30, 2015 - I've identified Straggler Daisy or Horseherb as the plant to cover my 20 x 40 partly shady partly sunny lot. Could you provide me with the best method for starting and growing the plant to ensure it ...
view the full question and answer

Hyptis alata information for San Marcos TX
April 13, 2012 - We saw a plant called Hyptis olata at the WFC plant sale today and cannot find it in the NPIN list. THis is a new one to us. Can you tell us something about it? THanks.
view the full question and answer

Plants with color for steep slope in Calera, Alabama
March 26, 2010 - I have a large steep slope in my back yard that the developer called a privacy break. It has poor soil and gets full sun. I have planted muhly and maiden grasses but would like some color. The slope ...
view the full question and answer

Drought stressed wooly butterflybush in Atlanta, TX
September 24, 2011 - My butterfly bush is dead looking from the drought. Do you think there is a chance it just went dormant and will return next year. I am still putting water on it. I believe it is a white wooly butterf...
view the full question and answer

Trimming back Texas Star hibiscus in Granbury TX
February 26, 2009 - Can I trim back my Texas Star Hibuscus? And when do I do that?
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 | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center