The Q&A Archives: Plants for Wet Soils

Question: I have a landscaping wall against a hill that has a good bit of run-off water. What are good plants and ground cover for areas that are extremely wet?

Answer: There are only a few plants that will grow in soggy soils: Shrubs include Inkberry Ilex glabra; Sweet pepperbush Clethra alnifolia; Sweetshrub Calycanthus floridus; Virginia sweetspire Itea virginica; Wax myrtle Myrica cerifera; Winterberry Ilex verticillata. Perennials to consider; Bee balm Monarda didyma; Blue flag iris Iris brevicaulis; Canna Canna spp.; Ironweed Vernonia noveboracensis; Japanese iris Iris ensata; Joe-Pye weed Eupatorium purpureum; Lady fern Athyrium filix-femina; River oats Chasmanthium latifolium; Royal fern Osmunda regalis; Siberian iris Iris siberica; Spiderwort Tradescantia virginiana; Swamp sunflower Helianthus angustifolium; Sweet flag Acorus gramineus; Yellow flag Iris pseudacorus. Creeping jenny or wild violets will serve as a groundcover in soggy soils.

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