The Q&A Archives: Plants For Wet Clay Soil

Question: We have clay soil and when it rains it pools on top of the ground. Do you have any ideas for small trees or shrubs that are good water users so in addition to having something grow successfully it might help our water problem. Thanks.

Answer: Your best choices under the circumstance will include marginal, or bog type plants. These plants tolerate wet soils, but will also require moisture during the dry summer weather - don't forget to water them regularly! Some plants to consider for a very wet location might include marsh marigold, Japanese Iris, and for summer color, cannas. The perennial Lobelia cardinalis might also work along the edge of a boggy area. Red twig dogwood shrubs, winterberry hollies (Ilex verticillata),inkberry hollies (Ilex glabra) and several other native shrubs such as summersweet clethra, itea, and aronia might also grow well for you. The "Heritage" river birch and the red or swamp maple (Acer rubrum) and any of the willows could also be a possibility.

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