The Q&A Archives: What Perrenials or Shrubs are best in a moist & shady area?

Question: There is an area of our back yard that is shady & as a result will stay moist after heavy rains. What hardy perennials or decorative shrubs ot plants are best for this area?

Answer: Moist spots can be a challenge! Most evergreens prefer a better drained spot, but inkberry (Ilex glabra) is an evergreen which likes moist soil. Another holly, the winterberry (Ilex verticillata), is deciduous but very attractive in the winter nonetheless. The 'Brilliantissima' chokeberry (Aronia arbutifolia) also makes lovely berries and has excellent fall color. The small, shrubby, stoloniferous dogwoods (Cornus spp.) such as the Redosier have various bark colors and are lovely in the winter. Inkberry and the shrub dogwoods will tolerate sun or shade, the other two prefer more sun. Perennials for a damp sunny spot include Japanese Iris, bee balm, and Joe Pye weed. Shade lovers for wet soil include hosta and astilbe. Most ornamental grasses prefer better drainage, but the variegated sedge grass (Carex) will tolerate moister soil and needs part shade.

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