Full Sun Natives & Wet Conditions??

Scbnymph(z5 NY)February 9, 2006

Morning All.....

I have a slope out in the back of my garden, at the bottom of which it remains VERY wet during the winter months & after heavy rains, it does dry up during the summer months. I would like to plant some things here to take advantage of the moisture and make this area more appealing. I have been planning on trying to grow Joe Pye Weed, Swamp Milkweed & a Buttonbush shrub in this area but at am a loss for other plant types?

The area is currently grass and what I would consider light/medium clay (not hardpacked), although I also find it a bit sandy if that makes sense! It receives full sun all day

Would love more planting suggestions?? What about Grasses that like these kind of conditions??

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john_mo(z5/6)

Prairie cordgrass would probably love those conditions, but I'm not sure if it is appropriate for your area. It's also a large and fairly agressive species, which might make it undesirable in a garden setting.

River oats would probably thrive, too, at least around the margins of the area. I'm not sure if it would tolerate being flooded for any length of time. This species self-seeds easily, but I don't think of it as being to aggressive as long as you don't expect it to stay only where you plant it.

Irises are also great options for wet areas. I would recommend blue flag for the wettest areas and copper iris around the margins (where it's shorter stature would make it more visible). These plants have a 'grassy' texture for most of the year and of course they are spectacular in bloom! They tolerate lots of water (esp. the blue flag) but they also do fine during dry summer periods if the soil is decent.

If I had a sunny, wet area like yours, I would think about finding some of the tall native lilies. They are hard to find and expensive, but they would be spectacular in such a low-lying planting.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2006 at 10:55AM
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Scbnymph(z5 NY)

Thanks for your response John, you definitely given me some things to look into

I also had someone else recommend the obvious to me! Why not look at the "seed mixes" designed for my type of environment and then pick and choose the plants I want to include. I can't believe I hadn't actually thought of that!

    Bookmark   February 9, 2006 at 1:05PM
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gamekeeper

I have a similar spot in my yard and the lady at the nursery suggest Cardinal plant don't know the proper name but as you can imagine it has lovely red blossoms and flowered all summer.
Peter

    Bookmark   February 9, 2006 at 2:45PM
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felisar

I also have a similar area and in addition to the plants suggested I have planted- physostegia 'Vareigata'(not nearly as agressive as the species), thalictrum desycarpum, hibiscus moscheutos,chelone obliqua 'alba', eupatoriaum aromaticum 'Joicus Variegated'.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2006 at 5:01PM
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nativenut(z7B GA)

Cardinal flower is Lobelia, either blue or red. Google "Rain Gardens" too, they will have a huge plant list for exactly those conditions. Trees like Bald Cypress would do well too, and don't overlook shrubs like Cranberry, Spicebush and Winterberry (this one will provide tons of winter interest) Filipendula rubra and Aruncus dioicus would do well if given enough water. Also contact your extension service, they may have a list too.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2006 at 5:22PM
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Scbnymph(z5 NY)

I forgot about "Rain Gardens" they would be perfect in the area. I don't what to plant any more shrubs near that area as I already have a few earmarked

    Bookmark   February 10, 2006 at 4:03PM
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yarthkin(6-7a)

Marsh marigolds, both blue and red lobelia, turtlehesd, monkey flower, Ladies Tresses (Spiranthes odorata), Pale Jewelweed (impatiens pallada?), Skunk Cabbage, Swamp Pink, native iris, Lilium superbum, Liatris

When you look at the options, having a wet area is actually a blessing of sorts in terms of gardening possibilities!

Here is a link that might be useful: Hyla Brook Farm

    Bookmark   February 13, 2006 at 2:08PM
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plantfreak(z9aKyushuJapan)

Some of the Helianthus species do very well in sunny wet conditions.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2006 at 8:44AM
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woodster(z4 Wi)

Here are some more you could try. Any of the mint family, swamp buttercup, prairie dock, spotted touch me not, rose mallow, sneezeweed, Queen of the prairie, indian plaitain, boneset, any of the sedges, soft bullrush... There are lots and lots of options. A wet spot can be a real jem to have!

    Bookmark   February 18, 2006 at 12:23PM
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Scbnymph(z5 NY)

I didn't realise that my soggy area could be such a blessing, there are so many wonderful things I can plant in that area!

    Bookmark   February 20, 2006 at 3:54PM
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Flowerkitty(Z6 or Z5 SE MI)

Queen of the Prairie has been on my wish list ever since I saw these lovely pictures, especially the middle one.

Here is a link that might be useful: Queen of the Prairie

    Bookmark   February 22, 2006 at 1:27PM
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tillable2000(z6 OH)

Be aware that Filipendula rubra (Queen of the Prairie) can be a quite agressive spreader in moist areas--I moved mine into an area that is very dry and it is much better behaved.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2006 at 12:29PM
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neil_allen(z5/6 Chi IL)

You might also take a look at some of the bidens, like B. cernua. It's not as large and dramatic as some of the other suggestions, but it can handle both wet and the dry conditions you describe at the end of summer, which is when it blooms. I have a "vernal pool" that has standing water, ducks and water plantain in the spring but is usually bone dry and dusty by September, when it's filled with bidens and a polygonum -- I believe Polygonum amphibium.

One warning about bidens, though -- the common name is "beggarticks," and if you walk through a stand of them when they're in seed, you'll find hundreds of seeds stuck to your clothing, and, like ticks, they aren't all that easy to remove.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2006 at 10:13AM
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mamajude

This thread has been so helpful. I live in the Stone Mountain area of Georgia, and I have a really wet area behind my house that gets full sun. The area is not huge, But I'd love to plant something that will suck up the puddles and mud and look pretty/colorful all summer. I will go check out a bunch of these suggestions. Thanks so much!!!

    Bookmark   March 14, 2010 at 3:51PM
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esh_ga

mamajude - other ideas include moisture loving shrubs like:

Viburnum nudum, Clethra alnifolia, Itea virginica, Ilex verticillata and Cephalanthus occidentalis.

If you're looking for a source of plants, the Georgia Native Plant Society will be having a big sale on April 24th in Cobb County.

Here is a link that might be useful: Georgia Native Plant Society

    Bookmark   March 14, 2010 at 6:23PM
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