Contact Us Host an Event Volunteer Join

Support the plant database you love!

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 - August 24, 2015

From: Philadelphia, PA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Rain Gardens, Grasses or Grass-like, Herbs/Forbs, Shrubs, Trees
Title: Need suggestions for plants for bioswales in Philadelphia, PA
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

Hello, Are there a handful of species you would recommend for inclusion in bioswales throughout the US? I realize plants need to be selected based on climate, but I'm wondering if there are two or three that consistently thrive in diverse climates. Thank you.

ANSWER:

Hello, Are there a handful of species you would recommend for inclusion in bioswales throughout the US? I realize plants need to be selected based on climate, but I'm wondering if there are two or three that consistently thrive in diverse climates. Thank you.

Mr. Smarty Plants often receives inquiries regarding bioswales and rain gardens. He will provide links for you to two publications that have tips for establishing rain gardens, and three previously answered questions; the first publication is from University of Wisconsin Extension , and the other is closer to your home; the Brooklyn Botanical Garden .

The previous answers are are from the eastern part of the US:

Philadelphia, PA

Hendersonville, NC 

Baltimore, MD

You can research the plants that are suggested further by going to our Native Plant Database, and entering the name of the plant in the Search Box. This will bring up the plant’s  NPIN page which has information about  its characteristics, growth requirements, and in most cases, pictures.

By clicking on “ Recommend Species Lists” just above the search box, you can get a list of recommended species  for Pennsylvania.

 

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Groundcover for Slope in NC under Black Walnut
April 20, 2015 - Please advise on some plants for a difficult to mow 30% slope, near Asheville, NC. We have partial sun, plenty of good rich topsoil, and plenty of rain. The key issue is that it is under and near the ...
view the full question and answer

Buffalograss for Mason County, TX
August 19, 2009 - I am interested in planting buffalo grass at a ranch home in between Mason and Fredericksburg, TX. I've read buffalograss doesn't do well in sandy soils, which this area (Hilda, TX) seems to have a ...
view the full question and answer

Plants to grow in shady sand in Florida
March 31, 2013 - We live in central Florida (directly between Orlando and Tampa). Our yard is mostly sand for soil and difficult parts in shade almost all day from large trees. What ground cover (grass) and hedges can...
view the full question and answer

Replacing St. Augustine grass with native grasses in Georgetown TX
October 28, 2009 - I have a St Augustine yard around my house. I would like to introduce or replace this type of grass with some of the Buffalo, Blue Gamma and or Curly Mesquite. Can I plant some of the native seed in...
view the full question and answer

Do white-tailed deer consume King Ranch bluestem?
October 25, 2013 - Will white-tail deer in central Texas consume King Ranch bluestem ?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.