The Q&A Archives: Shrubs for Moist Clay Soil

Question: I planted several hydrangeas and a star magnolia shrub trying to create a foundation garden near the house. The water faucet for my hose is located in this garden and I think this area is staying too wet and killing my plants. Please give me some suggestions of what kind of plants I can use for this problem. I live in zone 7, with clay soil.

Answer: There isn't much that LIKES wet, clay soil, but there are shrubs more tolerant of those conditions than others. They include Redbud (Cercis canadensis), Japanese Snowball (Viburnum plicatum tomentosum), weigela and boxwood. If your faucet has a persistent drip or underground leak, nothing will last long there, so you'll need to have it repaired.
Have you considered installing a "hedge hydrant"? This product, sold by Gardener's Supply Co. (see lets you move your faucet outlet 10 feet from the wource. This would put it out of the range of the foundation plantings. Hope these ideas are helpful!

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