Drainage ditches

mudlady_gw(Syracuse-z5)June 11, 2006

Does anyone have suggestions for zone 5 plants that will do well growing down the sloping sides of my front ditches? I want a maintenance free transition from the lawn to the ditch bottoms.


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erinluchsinger(z4 - Upstate NY)

My neighbor planted daisies and they're doing VERY well... not Shasta daisies, more the wild kind.
If you drive past Jamesville Collision just past the 481 bridge (near Woodchuck hill road), they're all along the north side of that building (she threw some dead flowers along there to get them started). They fill in very nicely and are zero maintenance.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2006 at 5:23PM
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bhrost(zone 5 NY)

If you want a native try Impatiens or Touch Me Nots. There are both yellow and orange flowered varieties. Collect seeds from wild ones in your area around wet places. They love ditches. I collected seed and spread it years ago and now I have a lot. The good thing is they are easy to pull out if they come up where you don't want them. They are a little susceptible to being blown over in summer storms though. Kids (and some adults)love to pop the seeds when they start to ripen.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2006 at 7:02PM
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jannie(z7 LI NY)

Yellow buttercups. My parents in Clarence have them in the ditch in front of their home.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2006 at 9:11AM
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faltered(Hamburg NY Z5/6)

Daylilies do well for me in extremely soggy areas. Also, iris, sedge, and hosta.


    Bookmark   June 12, 2006 at 9:26AM
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Hosta? I LOVE Hosta!!! They will have to tolerate full sun. I wish I had the courage to go dig daylillies along some country road. Daisies and buttercups are nice. Have to look into impatiens because I'm sure they are a perennial kind? If daisy and buttercup work, probably black-eyed Susan will also. I have some of this, along with some fern I just noticed, growing in the three acres I don't mow. I think I can come up with some pretty good looking ditches soon.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2006 at 3:52PM
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bhrost(zone 5 NY)

The native Impatiens are annual, but they produce so many seeds that if you have a wet area you will get plants coming up year after year.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2006 at 4:41PM
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Are native Impatiens different from the impatiens available in every nursery/store? I would think so if they reseed here!!

Also, what would I ask for in a nursery for the daisies and black-eyed susans we see in the wild? I sure would love to get some going. I planted a rudbeckia (goldsturm?) last year and didn't get one plant this year. I thought they reseed like crazy. The plant I bought was blown out of the ground during the Feb. windstorm.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2006 at 5:23AM
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bhrost(zone 5 NY)

Yes native Impatiens are different - they are also called Jewelweed because of the clear stems and touch me not because the seeds pop out of the pod suddenly when ripe. It is very easy to collect seeds in the wild when the pods are ripening (which many are probably starting to now), and the seeds have very high germination rates. The yellow flowered variety tends to grow taller than the orange-flowered ones.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   July 16, 2006 at 7:26PM
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I DO have a rudbeckia, which is now blooming :-) There are also many smaller plants which leaves and veins look just like rudbeckia but there aren't any buds. I left them when I weeded, just in case. Should I just play a waiting game and nurture these plants, hoping they will come back next year?

More rain, just as I was going to haul out the hose. I'm so thankful we aren't having the heat/drought problems so many GWebbers are.


    Bookmark   July 28, 2006 at 6:14AM
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