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

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
6 ratings

Tuesday - May 16, 2006

From: Round Rock, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Water Gardens
Title: Native plants for seasonal poor drainage
Answered by: Dean Garrett

QUESTION:

I have an area in my front yard that has a drainage ditch running through it. When it rains, that area stays very wet. What kind of plants available for sale will work in this situation?

ANSWER:

There are several plants native to Central Texas that do well in seasonal poor drainage. Some of these require sun and some require dappled shade. Click on the links to learn more about them.

Large Trees

Bald Cypress (Taxodium distichum)

Small Trees/Large Shrubs

Dwarf Palmetto (Sabal minor)
Yaupon Holly (Ilex vomitoria)
Possumhaw (Ilex decidua)
Carolina Buckthorn (Frangula caroliniana)
Roughleaf Dogwood (Cornus drummondii)

Small, Flowering Shrubs

Shrubby White Mistflower (Ageratina havanensis)

Perennial Flowers

Spring Obedient Plant (Physostegia intermedia
Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis)
Big Red Sage (Salvia penstemonoides)
Tall Goldenrod (Solidago canadensis)

Annual Flowers

Texas Bluebells (Eustoma exaltata var. grandiflora)
Plains Coreopsis (Coreopsis tinctoria)

Bunchgrasses

Inland Sea Oats (Chasmanthium latifolium)
Bushy Bluestem (Andropogon glomeratum)

Ferns

River Fern (Thelypteris kunthii)

The trees, shrubs, and several of the others plants listed here are seasonally available at Barton Springs Nursery in Austin and Natives of Texas nursery in Medina. Seeds of the flowers and grasses are seasonally available from Native American Seed in Junction. Check our National Suppliers Directory for additional sources.

Taxodium distichum

Sabal minor

Ilex vomitoria

Ilex decidua

Frangula caroliniana

Cornus drummondii

Ageratina havanensis

Physostegia intermedia

Lobelia cardinalis

Salvia penstemonoides

Solidago canadensis

Eustoma exaltatum ssp. russellianum

Coreopsis tinctoria

Chasmanthium latifolium

Andropogon glomeratus

Thelypteris kunthii
 

More Water Gardens Questions

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 wetlands in Illinois
September 21, 2008 - I have a home that is just above a wetlands in Northern Illinois. It is on a river and the wetlands go from bone dry to under 3 feet of water. The shoreline is beginning to erode where there are no tr...
view the full question and answer

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

Deterring geese from a wildflower garden
February 28, 2015 - I've moved into a home with a large pond beyond the grass yard. I intend to plant a sunflower house with lots of other plants as part of the structure, such as flowering vines, clover, mint and thyme...
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.