Planting "inside" Pondless Waterfall

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I'm doing some early planning on how and where to landscape a large pondless waterfall I've been working on the last few months. I have a few "pockets" between some larger rocks that I'm planning on laying in some additional underlayment (maybe 2 layers?), then adding in some potting soil or whatever and basically using that area as a planter container, thus giving the appearance of a plant growing up between the rocks.

One area in particular is constantly splattered with water. No big deal now, as there's nothing there, so all the water will eventually make its way back down into the basin. I'm planning on putting perhaps a Cardinal Flower there, as it allegedly will do well in soggy soil. My concern though, is that over time, the underlayment will get totally clogged with sediment, etc., and thus I would be loosing that water constantly, as it wouldn't be able to migrate through the underlayment and back into the basin.

I do realize that the basin will need to be topped off occasionally, due to splashing, evaporation, ect., but since I don't as of yet have an auto refill installed (not even sure I can, since I have a DIY vault made of corrugated culvert pipe), I don't want to loose any more water than I need to unnecessarily. Has anyone else used underlayment inside rock pockets for planting and experienced the aforementioned "clogging" of the underlay.

Thanks
 

JRS

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You are worried the splashing water will eventually overflow out of the basin?

I use geotextile underlayment in plastic mesh pots to contain soil but not in your exact situation. I would be surprised fi you had a problem with just incidental splashing being too much flow. The underlayment will wick water through and the plants will also use a lot of the water. Roots will also penetrate the underlayment eventually.
 
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you don't need underlayment for plants , it will do nothing to stop roots on the contrary they give to roots something to grab onto
 
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Your question is confusing. Are these planting pockets actually inside the liner?
Yes, inside the liner. I could just place a plastic planter in those spots, but want to replicate what it would look like if a plant grew out from within surrounding rocks. For example, in the area inside the blue circle, there's a planter. I was thinking instead I'd make a "bowl" out of underlayment, put gravel I'm the bottom, then some potting soil, and of course a plant of some kind.
 

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you don't need underlayment for plants , it will do nothing to stop roots on the contrary they give to roots something to grab onto
Please see my response to Lisa's post. How else can I have plants growing from within the rocks, without a planter, but also keep the dirt from getting washed into the feature?
 
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Please see my response to Lisa's post. How else can I have plants growing from within the rocks, without a planter, but also keep the dirt from getting washed into the feature?
depending on your bio load, you may have enough nutrients in the water so the dirt wouldn't be needed. there are plants you can just weight down carefully with rock and let them grow directly in the water.
 
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The whole idea here is to have plants fight for nutrients and get those from the water. Not the soil. You do not have fish but you will have string algae trust me do not put any soil use 3/8 pea stone
 
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The whole idea here is to have plants fight for nutrients and get those from the water. Not the soil. You do not have fish but you will have string algae trust me do not put any soil use 3/8 pea stone
OK then. I have landscaped plants plenty, but NONE as far as water features go. I was wanting to put a cardinal flower in that particular spot, as they are allegedly happy in soggy areas. Will I need to re-assess which plants? In other words, will the cardinal flower also grow in pea gravel?, or do I just need to research specific plants that "will" grow in pea gravel?
 
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Cardinals are a feet feet kinda plant they like sun. But once established they can do part sun. They love what we consider mud stinky smelly mush. This will become your peastone in time.
 
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Cardinals are a feet feet kinda plant they like sun. But once established they can do part sun. They love what we consider mud stinky smelly mush. This will become your peastone in time.
Lol..sooo, are you saying that they won't just die if I place them in wet pea gravel?

There are no aquatic plants available at any of the garden centers here, so I'll be ordering online. I ran across the cardinal flower and think the splash of color would be nice.
 
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If I remember your down south . Where do you think most of these plants come from?
 
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Lol..sooo, are you saying that they won't just die if I place them in wet pea gravel?

There are no aquatic plants available at any of the garden centers here, so I'll be ordering online. I ran across the cardinal flower and think the splash of color would be nice.
I am similar to you as far as being new to water plants, plenty of experience with gardening. I would say dont be afraid to try different plants and see what works. You may be pleasantly surprised to find something will grow even though not strictly a water plant. The worst that happens is that the plant dies, not that anyone likes to lose money but in the grand scheme of things, plants do not cost a ton of money. As you know from regular gardening there are so many variables as to how plants will do in a particular spot. What someone here might say about a plant does great might not do the same for you, or you just have different tastes than what some here post. I just started planting in September before the cold started here, so I am only at the beginning. Just in the short amount of time I have been a little surprised at what has done ok, of course whether they come back in the Spring is a total different story. A good resource is to look at is the Aquatic Plants forum here.
 
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I'm wondering if posting a plant exchange/sale or wanted might be fruitful. Meetups could be at a local PD parking lot or somewhere equally secure.
 

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