The Q&A Archives: My soil is extremly wet in one area what can I plant?

Question: Hello,
I have an issue I am hoping you can help me with. I have a very wet area right in the front of my house (runs along foundation). This area pretty much stays shaded all day long. When we moved in the people before us had a bunch of ugly evergreens and holly bushes. We took them out and tried growing grass, after many failed attempts we gave up and realized *why* they had them bushes there. We want to replant in that area but are unsure of what will grow there with it being so wet, and shady. We were thinking Rhododendrons, what is your advice? We live in region 5. (Northern Ohio) Please help me with this matter. Thanks SO much for your time.

Answer: Rhododendrons (and azaleas) will not tolerate a wet location, so unfortunately this would not be a good choice for this spot. You might want to consider replanting with hollies again since you know they do well there. You might use a groundcover that enjoys a moist soil as well, such as pachysandra or lily of the valley or Vinca minor (periwinkle) or even ferns.

Or, you might want to look into improving the drainage in that area. I mention this because usually it is not good to have excessive moisture along the foundation, so you might want to look into redirecting the water away from the house. For example, this might be due to lack of gutters, a down spout that should be extended away from the house, or changing the slope of the ground so it slopes gently away from the foundation and directs water away.

Your local nursery staff should also have suggestions about what to plant there based on a more detailed understanding of the planting site (size, amount of shade and at what time of day, soil type, wind exposure, and so on) and your overall design goals.

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