The Q&A Archives: ground cover

Question: I have a yard that is full of water. Can you recommend some deep rooted flowering plants, bushes, and ground cover that perhaps would work in this situation?

Answer: Soggy soils can be a problem for most plants, but here are a few suggestions for plants that tolerate wet feet:

Asarum spp.
Common names: wild ginger and European ginger
Zone 4 A. canadense, Zone 5 A. europeum
Height: 6?8 inches
Growth rate: slow to moderate
Foliage: evergreen, kidney-shaped, leathery, European has glossy leaves
Flower: bell-shaped, greenish-purple or brown, not ornamental
Culture: rich, moist soil; shade

Convallaria majalis
Common name: lily-of-the-valley
Zone 4
Height: 6?12 inches
Growth rate: moderate to fast
Foliage: basal, lily-like
Flower: white, waxy, very fragrant, bell-shaped, in a terminal raceme, mid-May to mid-June
Culture: moist, fertile soil, enriched annually; full to partial shade

Epimedium spp.
Common name: barrenwort
Zone 4?5
Height: 8?12 inches
Growth rate: slow
Foliage: compound, finely toothed, heart-shaped
Flower: crimson flushed with red or yellow, spring
Culture: moist soil; partial shade

Houttuynia cordata ?Chameleon?
Common name: Houttuynia
Zone 5
Height: 6?8 inches
Growth rate: fast
Foliage: heart-shaped, yellow, green, bronze, and red
Flower: long spike with florets lacking petals; early summer
Culture: moist to wet soil; sun or partial shade

Lysimachia nummularia
Common name: creeping Jennie
Zone 4
Height: 2 inches
Growth rate: moderate to fast
Foliage: opposite, nearly round
Flower: solitary in leaf axils, stalked, yellow corolla bell-shaped, late spring, sporadic through mid-summer
Culture: moist soil; sun or shade

Liriope spicata
Common name: creeping lily-turf
Zone 5
Height: 10 inches
Growth rate: slow to moderate
Foliage: narrow, grass-like, with minute teeth on margins
Flower: pale lilac to white, clusters lax and open, summer
Fruit: berrylike, black
Culture: fertile, moist soil; shade or sun

Hope these suggestions are just right for your garden!

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