Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

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
Not Yet Rated

Monday - July 08, 2013

From: coopersburg, PA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Herbs/Forbs
Title: Ducks and geese resistant plants for a pond in PA.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

We have a pond in all shade and we have ducks and geese. We would like to plant something in the space between the walkway and the pond to add color, but they have eaten everything we've tried- ferns, daylillies, hosta, pachysandra, impatience and dianthus. We want to still be able to see the pond while sitting on the patio, so it can't be too high- maybe a foot. Suggestions are greatly appreciated.

ANSWER:

First of all, lets look at some plants that might fill the bill from our Native Plant Database . Scroll down to the Combination Search Box and make the following selections: select Pennsylvania under state, herbs under Habit, and Perennial under Duration. Check Shade under Light requirement, and Moist under Soil Moisture. Click on the Submit combination Search button, and you will get a list of 45 native plants meeting these criteria that grow in Pennsylvania.  Clicking on the scientific name of each plant will bring up its NPIN page which contains a description of the plant, growth requirements and and characteristics as well as images.

 Mr. Smarty Plants is wondering about the size of the pond, and whether these are domesticated waterfowl (ie.pets) or free-loading transients?  As you’ve discovered. ducks and geese are herbivores (they eat plants), and may well eat any thing you plant. This article “What do Ducks Eat?” gives us some insight into their dinning habits.

Is removal an option? This article from Penn State University Extension  tells about strategies for controlling nuisance water fowl.

 

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Needs Help with Peonies
January 14, 2011 - With the clay soil in North Texas (Frisco) which variety of peony would thrive and become a reliable bloomer? I do work on amending the soil with expanded shell and compost, but ultimately, we still h...
view the full question and answer

Will Convallaria majuscula grow in Texas?
September 10, 2015 - Can I transplant Convallaria majuscula, American lily-of-the-valley I originally brought from northern Wisconsin a few years back to the Chicago area to my new home in Buda Texas?
view the full question and answer

Steep slope from Charlotte NC
May 03, 2012 - I live near Charlotte, NC and I have a very steep sloped area from the edge of our front yard down to the road. It's a huge eyesore mainly because it is red clay dirt and has nothing growing on it. W...
view the full question and answer

Identity of a yellow-flowered wildflower with prickly burs
May 20, 2013 - Hi there. We have seen a wildflower, probably invasive, that is at least in Travis, Williamson, and Hays counties. We have tried to identify it without success, The structure of the plant is remark...
view the full question and answer

Sunny and shady lawns from Austin
April 28, 2012 - My front yard has a large bed surrounded by a mix of St. Augustine and Bermuda grass. Last summers heat killed off about 90% of the St. Augustine, which we would like to replace anyway to conserve re...
view the full question and answer

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