Any suggestions for a shady moist area?

kkal474April 26, 2009

I am new to the gardening forums although I have spent quite a bit of time over on the home forums. I am hoping that someone might have some suggestions for an area of my garden that seems to be tricky to get anything to do well.

In an inside corner of the front of the house I have a decent size area (probably about 6'x6' +/- ) that is almost always in shade and doesn't seem to ever dry out from rains. We try to minimize watering in that area but until we hit a period of drought it pretty much stays wet. We have thick clay soil which seems to make matters worse.

I had a hydrangea there but it just hasn't done well at all. I have moved it to a more sunny locale where it is thriving but I don't know what to put in the bare spot. It is at the back of a pretty good size bed so it needs to be something pretty good size and ideally I would like something that flowers. Am I asking to much of this area? Any suggestions on what might work here?

Thanks in advance for your information.

Kristen

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hockey_fan(z7 Cent. OK)

Shrubs may be the better way to go. But you could try toad lilies too. Nice fall interest with the late flowers they produce. Ferns are a good safe bet, but lack the flowers you are looking for.
For flowering plants you will be somewhat limited. I read somewhere about Garden Glow Dogwood, but not sure how much wet the roots will tolerate or the hardiness.

In my semi dry shade--north side of the house with a tree above and no water other than rainfall I have 3 Firepower Nandina that in my zone are evergreen. The foliage turns red in the fall and stays that way until Spring, well some of the top leaves even stay a purplish-red to even slightly orange color year round. They are shown to be hardy in zones 6-10. The leaf color really pops in fall/winter and might be a compromise to flowers.

Matt

    Bookmark   April 28, 2009 at 5:34PM
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katymaria

Baby tears- they love the moist area and they come in a few different shades of green. I would try looking for suggestions on the internet for things that could grow around a shaded water feature, as they will love the wet. But before you do that, I would amend the soil by mixing in some compost.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2009 at 1:08PM
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jtmoney(5)

They aren't shrubs, but if you ammend the clay soil, you can get astilbe that can get quite tall, and fill in nicely. They also have really attractive plumes of flowers that are fairly long-lived in multiple hues. I tried to grow it a few years ago, but my soil isn't routinely moist like yours.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2009 at 1:59PM
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kkal474

Thank you for the suggestions. I will look into some of them. Sounds like my options are pretty limited. Thanks again and any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated

Kristen

    Bookmark   May 9, 2009 at 11:08AM
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woodthrush(z4PA)

Again, not shrubs, but ligularia, hosta, astilbe, pulmonaria,
turtlehead, bleeding hearts, all can do well in moist shade.
All perennials.
Pam

    Bookmark   May 10, 2009 at 8:38AM
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sue_in_nova_scotia

This is my shed garden, it is on the north side of the shed and the house is 7 feet in front of the garden...It is not complete deep shade but is my shadiest garden. The soil is moist enough to have rotted 3 daylilys and as many hostas...Yet some things are happy. Its a trial and error thing. So I suggest dividing other perennials and trying them there...if they die on to the next one...if they live then buy nore of that type. In mine heuchera, ferns and astilbe did the best. The daylilys struggled for a few years but have finally caught..

    Bookmark   May 17, 2009 at 6:10AM
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morello

i think hostas is one of the right choice. hostas love moist and do well in shade. beside that hostas are easy to care and totally awesome.

Here is a link that might be useful: hostas - plant from heaven

    Bookmark   May 28, 2009 at 4:01AM
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booberry85(5)

A few things you could try: mint, Joe Pye Weed, milkweed, grapes,and/or pussy willows.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2009 at 7:13AM
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petsitterbarb(Zone 6, N.E. OK)

I'm putting in a new bed with mostly shade because it's under a bald cypress tree. Very poor drainage there, so moist is an understatement. I'm going with Winterberry (said to LOVE boggy situations...we'll see!). Know we'd have more berries w/ more sun, but should at least have some, since I'm also planting a male Winterberry to take care of the berry situation. I have Red Sprite Winterberry and Berry Nice Winterberry, with the male being Jim Dandy Winterberry. Am looking forward to watching them develop. Am also putting in ferns of various heights, then have galvanized washtubs there that I am going to plant without worrying about the drainage.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2009 at 11:40PM
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oilpainter(3)

Is your soil clay? Clay soil will stay wet in the shade because it doesn't drain well. I'll bet if you amended that soil with organic matter it would grow any shade plant

    Bookmark   June 18, 2009 at 4:21PM
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woodside(6 IN)

I am growing fothergilla mount airy in moist shade in clay soils. They get some sun midday, but not much and love it moist. Some willows may do well there too- I have a nishiki willow (dappled willow) in moist clay and it loves it- won't get as much pinkish color or variegation to the leaves, but it should get very large and thrive.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2009 at 10:57AM
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