are they really bog plants?

susanlynne48(OKC7a)March 5, 2005

I want to grow petasites, gunnera, and astilboides. Oklahoma soil is mostly clay, though amendable. My back yard is filtered sun to shady in spots, but dry shade. I do grow plants that need a lot of water, such as hostas, astilbes, arasaema, ferns, acanthis mollis, begonia grandis, goats beard, and so on and so forth.

Is it possible to grow these large plants mentioned above, in regular soil, if watered frequently and thoroughly? If not, what do you think about sinking a small plastic child's swimming pool in the soil, with drainage holes, filling it with amended soil (manure, compost, peat moss), to creat a bog garden?


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You DON'T poke any holes in the pool!!! You get the lareg plastic pool that is about 10 to 12 inches deep, dig a hole that is about three or four inches DEEPER than the pool, fill the pool with water, stand a piece of PVC pipe along one side then HEAP the pool with your soil mixture so there is a nice mound and the plant your stuff.
Moisture will seep into the surrounding dirt and it will evaporate but you will maintain a nice wet bottom.

Fill the pool through the standing pipe two or three times during the spring and summer.

Ours has been making Mister Gunnera and Joe Pye happy for several years as well as the nice moss and fern volunteers that spring up each year.

If you poke holes in the pool then you have done nothing but waste your money.

That was our first bog. We now have 5 of them and the only one that doesn't take care of it's plants is the one that happened to get a hole poked in the bottom.

One bog has it's normal 'greenery' but this year has turnips and celery. Not celery to eat. Celery that turns into a nice green, woddy plant because it is never harvested.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2005 at 2:24AM
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Thanks for the advice. I wondered about that, but got the idea from Heronswood's catalog. Of course, they have much more rain there than we do in Oklahoma.

Are you saying that celery grows into a beautiful ornamental when left alone and not harvested?

I don't grow ANY veggies - don't have enough sun for anything but the mescluns, lettuces, spinach, etc. And I always forget to harvest anyway. Usually by the end of May here, they bolt due to the heat.

Thanks, again,


    Bookmark   March 14, 2005 at 7:43PM
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What are petasites and astilboids?

I have gunnera. Would these plants compliment each other? I am looking for something else. I will have to check them out. What do you like about these plants?


    Bookmark   March 19, 2005 at 11:28PM
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Sorry glenik - just now saw your reply and questions. Petasites (commonly called dinosaur food) is a large-leaved (up to 18-24") plant that likes a rich, moist soil. I have Petasites japonica varigata. The green leaves are splashed with white/cream color. I bought a the solid green species, but it didn't make it. They are very stoniferous, meaning they spread by underground runners, and are thought to be invasive. I find mine not to be, probably because I planted it in soil that dries out occasionally. I think it might be more rampant in a bog. Astilboides is another large-leaved plant, the leaves of which are very round, but BIG. You can look them up on the Internet if you want more info. I wish I knew how to attach pics to my messages, but, alas, I don't. I think if you had the variegated petasites with your astilboides it would look smashing!


    Bookmark   March 26, 2005 at 12:20PM
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Yes they look good. I may use them in the future.


    Bookmark   March 29, 2005 at 8:47PM
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