The Q&A Archives: water absorption

Question: I have one flower bed in my landscaping that stays really wet. I was wondering what kind of perennials or shrubs thrive in soggy conditions?

Answer: In a sunny moist to wet area you could try perennials such as Japanese iris (Iris ensata), marsh marigold, Hibiscus moscheutos, Helianthus, Lobelia cardinalis, and Monarda or bee balm. You could also try creating a slightly raised bed by adding ample amounts of organic matter such as compost and old rotted leaves or other organic matter along with a bit of coarse builder's sand or grit. Working in the additional material will fluff the soil and raise it few inches (no need for formal edging material), sometimes this is enough to create better drainage and widen the types of plant you can grow. Some shrubs to try would be the shrub dogwoods, Aronia arbutifolia, the hollies Ilex verticillata and Ilex glabra, Itea virginia and possibly Clethra alnifolia. Your local county extension may have additional suggestions based on a more detailed understanding of the soil conditions and lighting in the area you want to plant. I hope this gives you a few ideas as you begin planning.

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