The Q&A Archives: Damp Soil Perennials

Question: What to plant in garden area where soil is mostly moist all the time, sun from 11-4 during spring/summer, need some color and appropriate perennials?

Answer: There are lots of perennials tolerant of moist soils. Here are a few: Aruncus dioicus - Goat's Beard; Asclepias incarnata - Swamp Milkweed; Astilbe x arendsii - Astilbe; Boltonia asteroides - White Boltonia; Caltha palustris - Yellowflag; Campanula glomerata - Clustered Bellflower; Cimicifuga racemosa - Black Snakeroot; Dicentra spp. - Bleeding Heart; Houttuynia cordata 'Variegata' - Houttuynia; Iris ensata - Japanese Iris; Ligularia spp. - Ligularia; Lobelia cardinalis - Cardinal Flower; Lysimachia clethroides - Gooseneck Loosestrife; Lysimachia punctata - Yellow Loosestrife; Matteuccia pensylvanica - Ostrich fern; Miscanthus sinensis - Ornamental Grass; Monarda didyma - Bee Balm; Myosotis scorpioides - True Forget-me-not; Onoclea sensibillis - Sensitive Fern; Osmunda cinnamomea - Cinnamon Fern; Osmunda regalis - Royal Fern; Physostegia virginiana - Obedient Plant; Rodgersia pinnata - Featherleaf Rodgersflower; Saxifraga pennslyvanica - Penn. or Swamp Saxifrage; Tradescantia x andersoniana - Virginia Spiderwort; Trollis europaeus - Globeflower. The ferns are more suitable for shady spots but you may be able to tuck them in behind larger plants to afford some afternoon shade. Best wishes with your garden!

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