The Q&A Archives: something that can thrive in wet conditions

Question: I have an area in my flower bed next to a walkway that stays wet because of the sprinklers in the bed, and would like some suggestions for something that can handle those conditions? Interested in a groundcover, annual or perennial. I live in Oklahoma, which I believe in Zone 7.


Answer: Wet, poorly drained soils present one the most difficult challenges for growing plants in the landscape. Excessive moisture displaces oxygen in the soil and plant roots can suffocate as a result. Many plants are intolerant of having their roots submerged for extended periods of time. However, there are some plants that tolerate wet soils. Here are some suggestions: Acorus calamus (sweet flag) Astilbe spp. (astilbe) Calla palustris (bog arum) Caltha palustris (marsh marigold) Canna x generalis (Water canna) Carex spp. (sedge) Eupatorium dubium (Joe Pye weed) Equisetum hyemale (horsetail) Iris ensata (Japanese water iris) Iris laevigata (water iris) Iris pseudacorus (yellow flag) Iris siberica (Siberian iris) Iris vericolor (blue flag) Iris virginica (southern blue flag) Lobelia cardinalis (cardinal flower) Lobelia siphilitica (great lobelia) Lysimachia clethroides (gooseneck loosetrife) Myosotis scoparius (water forget-me-not) Orontium aquaticum (golden club) Peltandra virginica (hardy arum) Pontederia cordata (pickerel weed) Sagittaria spp. (arrowwhead) Sarracenia spp. (pitcher plant) Saururus cernuus (lizard's tail) Schoenoplectus validus (soft stem bulrush) Scirpus americanus (common threesquare) Spartina alterniflora (cordgrass) Typha spp. (cattail) Vernonia noveboracensis (iron weed) Hope this list is helpful!

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