Rain garden plant selection

paulsiu(5a)June 7, 2011

I have one area where water floods a lot when there is heavy rain. I was thinking that this is exactly what a rain graden would be.

For plants in a rain garden, we need plants that can withstand being dry and also being submerged (at least for a few days)? How do I figure out which plant can stand these conditions?



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Try googling "rain garden plants in Illinois" and see what you come up with.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 9:26AM
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I did google it and actually installed a couple of those plants like Dog tooth Daisy (Helenium autumnale), Queen of the Prairie, Cardinal flowers, and great blue lobelia. After the area got hit with water, all of the plants gave up the ghost except for the great blue lobelia. May be they're flood resistant only after they are established?


    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 12:29PM
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Well, try some different things. Cardinal flower should have been fine, but perhaps it died for another reason.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2011 at 7:24AM
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Hi Paulsia. That is indeed the challenge for these types of plantings.....the need for the selected species to be able to withstand a lot of "bounce" in water levels, from inundation to hot and dry. There are really a lot of plants that have been recommended for this usage. Just a couple more for you to consider/try: Sweet flag-Acorus calamus, Iris virginica, Marsh marigold-Caltha palustris, Carex (sedge) species of many types, Polygonum amphibium-water smartweed............oh, was that more than a couple?


    Bookmark   June 10, 2011 at 10:09AM
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ontnative(5b Can/USDA 4)

Most plants will not stand a deluge of water until their roots get firmly established. Try to start with mature good sized plants. wisconsitom's suggestions are good ones. Try doing a google search for native bog plants for more ideas.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2011 at 7:36AM
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Sounds like you want some hardy, drought tolerant rain garden plants. Check out MyRunoff.org's free Rain Garden Bot. It can help you find drought tolerant plants that can also withstand occasional standing water.

Here is a link that might be useful: MyRunoff.org's Rain Garden Bot

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 3:23AM
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