Looking for plants that can take standing water

linccampbellMarch 10, 2008

We have an area of our lawn that catches water very badly whenever we have rain and literally creates a standing area. I'd like to till it with some peat and then make a nice plant bed in the area, but what plants could take a few days of standing water and also take our hot, drought ridden North Texas summers?


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maybe cannas or elephant ears. We have both growing in our stream

    Bookmark   March 10, 2008 at 6:34AM
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olgaflowers(8 - DFW)

Rose Mallows ( Hibiscus)

    Bookmark   March 10, 2008 at 8:40AM
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How about bog plants? Arrowhead plants are neat. They look like caladiums. I have some that pop up whenever it's wet and go dormant when it dries up. You might check out water garden pages for "marginal plants," the ones that would ordinarily border a pond.

Ooo, cattails!

If you're at all interested in a tree for that area, bald cypress love standing water and develop interesting "knees" around their base with enough of it.

Mmm, makes me long for standing water ...

    Bookmark   March 10, 2008 at 9:32AM
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carrie751(z7/8 TX)

Bald cypress sends knees "waaaaaaay out" farther than their base. I have 5 of them, and there are areas I cannot mow because of the knees. This year, I plan to make shade beds between them.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2008 at 9:38AM
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debndal(8a DFW, TX)

I have Variegated Sweet Flag (Acorus) in my water garden and in a "damp for days when rains" area. It comes in a gold/green strip and white/green stripe foliage - looks like a short bunch grass or caryx(?) about 12" tall and the golden looks really pretty with the sun behind it. It spreads a little each year, but not invasively so far. I found it at HD.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2008 at 12:27PM
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Umbrella grass may not make it thru your winters but I think it might come back in the spring. Depending on how much water it gets, it can get as high as 3 or 4 feet. Has a nice tropical look. Here in zone 9, it is almost invasive if it weren't so easy to pull up. It perseveres thru our clay soil and thru droughts but seems to like water the best.
picture here

Here is a link that might be useful: Umbrella Grass

    Bookmark   March 10, 2008 at 3:30PM
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carrie751(z7/8 TX)

I have the Japanese umbrella plant in my small pond, but the largest ones I have (and would really like to get them dug out and moved), get about 8 to 10 feet tall, and they get no special care or water. Guess you could say they are a really hardy plant.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2008 at 4:21PM
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ltcollins1949(9a TX)

I have the same problem, a low area that always floods and holds water because my neighbor raised the grade of his yard.

Anyway, I planted a swamp rose which had done very well and has stood in water for up to two weeks without damage. I also planted Louisiana Irises and canna lilies.

And I planted a bald cypress which I love, but as they get older they do get those knees. I would suggest the Montezuma Cypress (zones 7-10). I have read that it is believed not to do all that well north of San Antonio, but I have read about one growing in Plano and is doing very good.

Bushy bluestem is another plant that likes wet feet and grows primarily in low moist sites. Ferns, especially wood ferns do well.

I don't grow the umbrella plant, but everyone that I know wishes that they hadn't planted it.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2008 at 6:52PM
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lt is right, Montezuma cypress (Taxodium mucronatum) will survive here north of Ft. Worth (Justin). I've got one going on its 3rd year. The first winter, it took a 4°F morning in December with no ill effect. I don't think they like the boggy conditions like their cousin bald cypress, though. In their more native range in Mexico, they are supposed to line streams and rivers as well as upland sites. They do not put up knees like the BC.
May be tough finding one around here.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2008 at 7:03PM
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denisew(z8 TX)

I did a search on Texas Smartscape and indicated high water demand plants and came up with the following list of plants:

Bald Cypress
Tassel Fern
Louisiana Iris
Japanese Aucuba
Little Gem Magnolia

I don't know if the magnolia would take standing water, but the others might be okay.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2008 at 7:12PM
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debndal(8a DFW, TX)

I would question the Japanese Aucuba. I had one in moist area for several years. Then we had a water leak in the sprinkler system by it, and it croaked in a heartbeat.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2008 at 10:43PM
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Let me add a wrinkle that I should have included in the original post. I'd like something that is evergreen and will live through our winters, and I want plants, not trees.

I'm demanding, eh? =)

Thanks for the help so far!

    Bookmark   March 11, 2008 at 12:48AM
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ltcollins1949(9a TX)
    Bookmark   March 11, 2008 at 8:56AM
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ltcollins1949(9a TX)

Or this website from TAMU.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2008 at 9:00AM
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My Louisiana iris have stayed green through the winter when I have mulched them well & covered them when temps dropped below about 27.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2008 at 12:54PM
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