The Q&A Archives: Plants for Wet Soil and Southwestern Exposure

Question: I have a narrow strip of my yard that has NO drainage caused by an old road or driveway. I did a raised bed to plant my roses, but there's still a strip along the wall of this planter that I'd like to plant in front of to hide. It's about 16" high and mid to very soggy for about 2' out from the fence. I love perennials and fragrant flowers. There's got to be something that would tolerate wet soil and warm/hot sun--southwestern exposure.

Answer: Those are tough and contradictory conditions, since most plants that like hot sunny exposures don't like their roots in wet soil, and plants that like wet soil, usually like shady woodland conditions. You may have to experiment with a variety of things to see what works. Start with plants that will tolerate the wet soil, since lack of oxygen for root systems can quickly kill a plant. You might try a variety of iris, including Japanese iris, Louisiana iris, Iris pseudacorus (yellow flag), Iris versicolor (blue flag), all of which will take sun to shade. They would be the right height and provide color. Monarda (bee balm) and Lobelia cardinalis (cardinal flower) are other colorful choices that will take water and sun. Good luck!

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