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
1 rating

Tuesday - March 10, 2009

From: Spring Branch, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Water Gardens, Planting, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Planting instructions for horsetail
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Re: Equisetum hyemale L. Canuela, Horsetail, Scouring rush, Scouringrush horsetail I bought a 1-gal Equisetum hyemale for my seep/pond. In searching the web, I find conflicting planting instructions. All say invasive, plant in a pot. Then, some say plant in gravel (no soil needed); some say do not completely submerge; some say ok to submerge; some say submerge with just the lip of the pot showing above the water. Please help!!!

ANSWER:

We think the conflicting answers you are getting are just saying that there are a number of different conditions under which you can grow Equisetum hyemale (scouringrush horsetail). It will grow out of water, in gravel, if you wish and do just fine. It can fill up a pondside area and exclude weeds. If it is to be included in a water garden with other plants, it probably should be confined in a pot, since it is aggressive. All the advice you have been seeing seems to be correct, except that we wouldn't completely submerge the whole plant, just on the grounds that it needs oxygen, and besides, where would the dragonflies sit?


Equisetum hyemale

Equisetum hyemale

Equisetum hyemale

Equisetum hyemale

 

 

More Water Gardens Questions

Water-loving native plants for Pottstown, PA
September 11, 2009 - I live about 40 miles west of Philadelphia. I am looking for a water absorbing evergreen tree/bush/plant that I could plant in the rear of my yard. We get a small stream every good rain and the back...
view the full question and answer

Landscaping with water garden from Pendleton SC
August 15, 2012 - Searching for native plants in SC. Your results miss some plants listed on your site. I noticed this reading the Mr. Smarty Plants response to "Edible Plants for North GA" We aren't far apart. ...
view the full question and answer

Native plants for water garden in Garland, TX
June 13, 2006 - Hello, I was interested in creating a water garden-koi pond in the landscaping and was interested to know what plants you would suggest for this usage that would be perennial? Furthermore I was intere...
view the full question and answer

Native plants for retention pond in Michigan
June 10, 2008 - What native plants would you recommend a for a southeast Michigan retention pond perimeter? Also are there native water plants that help algae control? The pond is about 75x30 feet and ranging from ...
view the full question and answer

BEST plants for keeping water clean
February 19, 2005 - We're in the process of building a small swimming pool that will utilize Texas native bog and marginal plants to clean the water for the pool. Do you know of some good resources (i.e. online, books, b...
view the full question and answer

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