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?


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

Sunday - December 16, 2012

From: Toronto, ON
Region: Canada
Topic: Watering
Title: Water use rate calculations from Toronto ON
Answered by: Barbara Medford


Can the high medium and low water use categories be quantified into a rate, say volume of water required by square foot of planted area? How are the water use categories established?


This is a little out of our area of expertise. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, home of Mr. Smarty Plants, is dedicated to the growth, propagation and protection of plants native to North America which, of course, includes Canada. In Texas, where we live, the consumption of water is a constant subject of discussion, because of our continuing drought. Watering is often restricted to certain hours and/or certain days, so we are always recommending plants requiring low water use for gardeners in our area.

We were unable to locate any sites online that had specific information on what your soils and rainfall were like in order to help you decide. We did find one site that might be of service from Washington State University Garden Math.

Since we are gardeners and not hydrologists, we tend to go with experience.  We would suggest you contact the Toronto Water Meter Program to see if they have material on this problem.


More Watering Questions

Defining drip line on trees from Austin
August 08, 2011 - When you say that trees should be watered at the "drip line," do you mean that literally? I assume that the drip line means at the outside edge of the leaves or branches. Does that mean that waterin...
view the full question and answer

Leaves dropping on native Texas Mountain Laurel in San Antonio
September 20, 2008 - Please help. We have a beautiful TX Mountain Laurel in our front yard. This year the leaves are dropping like snow in the north. What do you think is wrong with our tree?
view the full question and answer

Leaf browning on blackfoot daisy in Arizona
August 26, 2008 - Blackfoot daisy plant was doing great; then, in one day, it turned brown like it had no water. Have a watering system in place which waters once a day for one hour 1/2 gallon a hour.
view the full question and answer

Wintering Purple Coneflowers in pots in Springfield MO
August 26, 2013 - I have some 8 month old purple cone flowers in containers on my porch. They did not bloom this summer because they were seedlings when given to me. I can not put them in the ground. How can I keep the...
view the full question and answer

Why are the leaves of my century plants yellowing?
June 22, 2009 - I am taking care of the Agaves (century plants) for my condo community here in Austin. They are planted in 18" or 20" pots. A couple of the plants have leaves that are yellowing around the bottom....
view the full question and answer

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