Contact Us Host an Event Volunteer Join

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

Smarty Plants Question Topics

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.

 
<< previous 1 2 next >> 
41 Results:   10 25 50  100 per page


topicquestion
Are 'Ice Blue' Arizona Cypress and Desert Willow safe near a septic system?
September 18, 2015
I want to plant a screen to hide driveway/cars on our property line that is close to the septic tank(not septic field) and the septic line running from the house. Would it be safe to plant a Ice Blue ...
View Mr. Smarty Plants' Answer

Wildflowers for an Indiana septic drain field
August 29, 2015
We just had to have a septic system replaced due to our state highway consuming some of our front yard along with our original septic. Since this has happened, our lateral lines now lie in our back ya...
View Mr. Smarty Plants' Answer

Septic Field Recommendations for SW Austin
February 09, 2015
What would be good native plants to vegetate septic drip fields in both sun and shade in Southwest Austin. The regulations want plants that are evergreen and shallow rooted.
View Mr. Smarty Plants' Answer

Does Acacia farnesiana (Huisache) have agressive roots?
November 30, 2014
Hello, Do you know if the Huisache tree has an aggressive root system? I have a few in proximity to my septic draining field and I need to know if I should cut them down to prevent clogging of t...
View Mr. Smarty Plants' Answer

Using bamboo as a filter for odoras from a wastewater treatmen plant in College Station, TX
November 16, 2014
My wastewater treatment plant is considering planting bamboo to create a filter for odors between it and the neighborhood. Are there any native plant alternatives that would function as well (if not b...
View Mr. Smarty Plants' Answer

Desert Willow Roots from Lubbock, TX
September 18, 2014
I have a very, very happy Desert Willow that has grown larger than we expected and is probably too close to the house. Do I need to worry about a cracked foundation or pipe problems? Thanks!
View Mr. Smarty Plants' Answer

Plants for a Septic Field in NC
August 14, 2013
What kinds of low water plants can I plant over a new septic field in North Carolina? The area is part sun so I am concerned about having trouble getting grass started.
View Mr. Smarty Plants' Answer

Shrubs and trees over septic tank in Killen AL
May 20, 2013
Our church has 5year old blue rug juniper, a crape myrtle and two shrubs I can't identify planted over the septic tank which is surrounded with concrete and asphalt. I am afraid these will cause a pr...
View Mr. Smarty Plants' Answer

Dog wallowing in damp area in garden from Great Bend KS
March 20, 2013
I Have a wet area in my back yard that is close to my house. and off my patio there is a water hydrant,gas meter, electrical for my hot tub, my sprinkler valves and pump all there. My dog digs throug...
View Mr. Smarty Plants' Answer

Bald cypress knees in leachfield from Ventura CA
March 20, 2013
Hey, I planted a seedling 20+ years ago which has turned out to be a 40'bald cypress that's now 40'. I'm a native southerner and would hate to cut it down but it's putting up knees in my septic s...
View Mr. Smarty Plants' Answer

Tree for on top of sewer lines from San Antonio
March 16, 2013
I am looking for an evergreen small tree with taproot to plant in a very small front yard near the sidewalk and possibly on top of or nearly on top of sewer lines. Would a Mt. Laurel be the choice? ...
View Mr. Smarty Plants' Answer

Tree roots in sewer from Paragould AR
September 30, 2012
I have beautiful pecan trees, an apple in the back yard, a pine on the west side of the house and pecan trees in the front yard. Two trees are interrupting my sewer systems (at least one in the back y...
View Mr. Smarty Plants' Answer

Wildflower field for sewage leach field from Olga Washington
August 01, 2012
I am interested in planting a large native wildflower field at a resort in the San Juan Islands in Washington State. It would be over a sewage leach field for many cabins and bathrooms. Are there any ...
View Mr. Smarty Plants' Answer

Appropriate plants for septic field from Raymore MO
September 15, 2011
Is it practical to plant coneflower, garden phlox, etc. on a septic drain field?
View Mr. Smarty Plants' Answer

Windbreak for Eastern Kansas
July 17, 2011
I need to plant a fast growing windbreak near my lateral lines for a septic tank. We obviously can't have anything that would interfere with the laterals but I desperately need a North wind break. ...
View Mr. Smarty Plants' Answer

Can Carolina wild petunia be planted over septic tank in Nokomis FL
July 10, 2011
Could you tell me the root depth of the Ruellia caroliniensis/ Carolina wild petunia? Trying to determine if I can plant it over septic tank.
View Mr. Smarty Plants' Answer

Plants for a septic field in Rogers AR
June 13, 2011
I live in Rogers Arkansas (northwest corner of the state). My home sits in a holler. My back and side yard is almost totally lateral lines for a septic system. One section of my yard (it's fenced an...
View Mr. Smarty Plants' Answer

Native plants for septic field in Austin
March 14, 2011
Do you have guidance for west Austin residents regarding landscaping a septic field with native plants?
View Mr. Smarty Plants' Answer

Plants for aerobic septic system in Houston
February 03, 2011
My husband and I would like to plants some trees and shrubs, but we have an aerobic system taking up most of the yard :( Can you recommend any trees that won't hurt that? Also shrubs for our weath...
View Mr. Smarty Plants' Answer

Wildflowers and grasses for a septic field in Maine
November 18, 2010
Mr. Smarty Pants: I want to know the length of root systems for native Maine wildflowers that will be planted over a septic system drain field in Maine. Also any grasses you can think of. This area ...
View Mr. Smarty Plants' Answer

Wildflowers for leach field in Maine
October 31, 2010
I am looking for a wildflower mix that would suitable to plant over a leach field. What plants should I look to avoid?
View Mr. Smarty Plants' Answer

Butterfly plants for area over septic system drainfield
July 22, 2010
I live in Michigan and have purchased a house with a septic system. I hate to mow grass AND to waste all that area over the drain field with mere turf. I also enjoy attracting butterflies. what are...
View Mr. Smarty Plants' Answer

Non-native smoketree for California City, CA
June 28, 2010
I was wondering if you could tell me if it would be a good or bad idea to plant a Smoke Tree (most likely European) in the vicinity of a septic tank. We are looking for something which will provide a...
View Mr. Smarty Plants' Answer

Wildflower garden for a drain field in Olivet MI
June 27, 2010
I have a large area that is currently lawn over a drain field. I would like to turn this area into a wild flower garden. Will the wild flower roots, etc. cause any concerns or damages to a drain fie...
View Mr. Smarty Plants' Answer

Should non-native invasive Wisteria be planted near well and septic system?
May 05, 2010
I was told not to plant my Wisteria vine near my septic or well because the root will get into it and cause me many problems. Is this true?
View Mr. Smarty Plants' Answer

topicquestion

<< previous 1 2 next >> 
41 Results:   10 25 50  100 per page