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
10 ratings

Tuesday - July 21, 2009

From: Grand Haven, MI
Region: Midwest
Topic: Water Gardens
Title: Plants for retention ponds in Grand Haven, MI
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I am president of a condo association. We have three retention ponds on the property. From two of them we pump water for irrigation so the water level goes up and down. We are going to try to stabilize the shore to stop the erosion, but I am trying to find out about plants that can live with wet and dry feet. Non-invasive, and preferably something that will grow tall enough to break up the sightline from the water to the shore, to help keep the geese off the lawn. I know that is is a separate issue.

ANSWER:

Luckily for us, there has already been an excellent answer to virtually the same question, the previous one coming from White Lake, MI in the southwest part of Michigan, Oakland County. We feel that is close enough to Grand Haven, on the southeast side of Michigan, Ottawa County, that the same information should apply, including the plant selections. Previous answer to White Lake.

In terms of keeping the geese off of the lawn, we have had questions about geese destroying gardens before, as well. We are not sure if any of the plants suggested in the previous answer were grasses tall enough to serve as something of a barrier to the geese, so we are going to find some native grasses that can tolerate wet or dry soils and list them for you.

Grasses Native to Michigan

Calamagrostis canadensis (bluejoint) - 3to 5 ft. tall, sun, part shade or shade

Carex stipata (owlfruit sedge) - 2 to 3 ft. tall, wet soil to standing water, sun

Carex vulpinoidea (fox sedge) - wet or moist soil,sun

Juncus torreyi (Torrey's rush) - wet or moist soil, sun

Phragmites australis (common reed) - 3 to 6 ft., wet or moist soil, sun

Scirpus atrovirens (green bulrush) - 3 to 6 ft. tall, wet soil, sun

Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani (softstem bulrush) - wet soil, sun

Spartina pectinata (prairie cordgrass) - 3 to 6 ft., wet soil, sun


Calamagrostis canadensis

Carex stipata

Carex vulpinoidea

Juncus torreyi

Phragmites australis

Scirpus atrovirens

Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani

Spartina pectinata

 

 

 

 

 

More Water Gardens Questions

Native plants for a bioswale in Irving, TX
March 30, 2009 - Mr. Smarty Plants, what plants would you recommend for a bioswale in the north Texas (Dallas) area?
view the full question and answer

Native water plants for bio-retention pond in North Carolina
July 22, 2009 - I am looking for North Carolina native plants that can take part shade and very wet conditions (bioretention pond environment). Any suggestions?
view the full question and answer

Planting times for aquatic plants from Winston Salem NC
July 12, 2012 - I need to know the correct time of year to plant the following pond plants Swamp Rose Mallow, Southern Blue Iris, Soft Rush, American Bur-reed, American lotus, Woolgrass and Duck Potato Is it better...
view the full question and answer

Plants for wet soils in North Carolina
October 03, 2009 - I'm looking for evergreen plants (shrubs or ground cover)that will tolerate wet conditions for the zone 8 area of North Carolina. The local garden centers here do not stock these types of plants, eve...
view the full question and answer

Native plants for a littoral zone in Fort Myers, Florida
June 05, 2009 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, What native plants would you recommend for the littoral zone on a pond in Fort Myers Florida? Damon's Mom
view the full question and answer

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