Rent Shop 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

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

Tuesday - April 06, 2010

From: Plano, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Container Gardens
Title: Plants for a container bog garden in North Texas
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I live in Plano, just north of Dallas. I've developed a recent interest in water gardens and am considering getting my toes wet with a container bog garden. I have an old galvanized wash tub that I think will be ideal. What native plants would be both small enough and happy in a bog? I've considered Cardinal Flower as it would be a bonus to attract butterflies and hummers to my patio. Any suggestions?

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants doesn't have any "How to Articles" specifically for creating a bog garden; but I do recommend that you read, "Water Gardening" and "How to Create a Water Garden" in our "How to Articles" Both have information that will be useful for your bog garden and although "Water Gardening" addresses a larger project than you are planning, it still has information that will be useful for your smaller project.  For more specific information on bog gardens, however, here are a couple of articles—A Bog Garden by C. Colston Burrell from the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and Build a Simple Bog Garden from Rainy Side Gardeners. We have two plant lists on our Recommended Species page (under "Just for Central Texas") that should be helpful to you for your project—"Pond Plants for Central Texas" and "Wetland Plants for Central Texas".  Here are a few suggestions from these lists that should do well attracting butterflies and hummers to your bog garden in the Plano area:

Asclepias incarnata (swamp milkweed)

Equisetum hyemale (scouringrush horsetail) doesn't attract butterflies or hummingbirds, but will serve as an attractive background for your colorful species and also serves as a good perch for dragonflies.

Lobelia cardinalis (cardinalflower) is an excellent choice.

Physostegia intermedia (slender false dragonhead)

Justicia americana (American water-willow)

Pontederia cordata (pickerelweed)

Rhynchospora colorata (starrush whitetop)

These plants are relatively tall but for low plants, you might consider:

Marsilea macropoda (bigfoot waterclover)

Hydrocotyle umbellata (manyflower marshpennywort)

Bacopa monnieri (herb of grace)

Here are photos of the plants from our Image Gallery:


Asclepias incarnata

Equisetum hyemale

Lobelia cardinalis

Physostegia intermedia

Pontederia cordata

Rhynchospora colorata

Marsilea macropoda

Justicia americana

Hydrocotyle umbellata

Bacopa monnieri

 

 

 

 

More Container Gardens Questions

Native plant for container on deck in Oak Grove VA
April 05, 2011 - What VA native plant can I grow in a container on my deck that will block the view from the neighbor's deck? I am thinking columnar. This is in full sun and gets hot winds off of a bay. The plant ...
view the full question and answer

Yellowing fern houseplants from Lancaster PA
April 10, 2013 - I have fern houseplants about 9 to 12 months old and they are turning yellow. I don't overwater and they get good light. They are growing well but I don't understand the yellowing and falling off! ...
view the full question and answer

Cedar sage in container in Austin
June 06, 2011 - Re: cedar sage purchased at your 04/11 plant sale: it sets flower spikes but no red blossoms appear, only calyxes. It's in terracotta pot w/Ladybug soil, shady apartment patio. Soil too rich? Too muc...
view the full question and answer

Plants for 16th floor of condo in Panama City Beach, FL
May 30, 2012 - My husband and I have a COSI on the west end of Panama City Beach, Fl. I love plants and flowers and live out of state. Our condo is on the 16th floor and directly on the gulf. What type of plants ...
view the full question and answer

Flowering evergreen plant for ceramic pot
April 02, 2013 - I have a deep ceramic pot that I would like to put in a flowering evergreen plant or bush. It is on the deck facing west but with north and south exposure and afternoon sun.
view the full question and answer

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