10 Plants for Poorly-Drained Soils 1. ‘Eversheen’ EverColor® Carex. 2. The variety pictured, 'Misty Lace', is a hybrid of the two and takes the best of both. Ferns. Pictured above, lenten roses are tough plants that stand up to poor soil, drought, heat, humidity, and even the cold.… Possumhaw (Ilex decidua) – This deciduous holly produces bright red berries in winter. When I recently brought up the subject, Grose readily agreed that wet shade is one of the most challenging situations. Zones: 4-9 While they can tolerate shade, poor soil drainage does present a problem. Commonly referred to as "green carpet" or Japanese spurge.. This plant looks good when planted in front of dark-colored shrubs. Cinnamon fern (Osmunda cinnamomea) produces 4-foot-long blue-green fronds with cinnamon brown fronds randomly appearing within the 3-foot-wide clump in USDA zones 4 through 8. Plants tolerate occasional saturation, but not constantly water-logged soils. Poor-draining soil is a problem when trying to grow plants. Best Ground Covers for Shade. When poor drainage combines with shade, most plants rot away and die. Here is a shortlist of plants that will tolerate “wet feet.” Trees. Plant these shade-loving perennials in beds, borders and containers for great garden color. When poor drainage combines with shade, most plants rot away and die. This easy-to-grow flowering shade plant offers unique flowers that are often compared to orchids. Fern.Ferns are so versatile. A low-maintenance groundcover for even the most challenging locations. Look for bee balm in a host of colors and plant sizes — there’s one to fit any spot in your garden. This grass-like plant prefers shady wet areas like water gardens or woodland gardens. The constantly wet soil lacks the oxygen content that many plants need, so plants requiring well-draining soil drown in wet soil. Miss Lemon™ Abelia. I think the most difficult combination conditions for homeowners are shaded spots with poor drainage. Most willows and poplars tolerate poor drainage, for example, as will plants naturally found in marshes or other soggy soil situations: cattails, aronias, turtleheads (Chelone spp. A workhorse in the garden, liriope stabilizes soil against erosion, survives saturated or bone-dry soils, and even tolerates salt spray. Use them in locations where water collects, but dries between rainfall events. Both plants grow well in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 9. Commonly called elephant ear or taro, these tropical beauties love moisture. Water: Evenly moist, well-drained soil. Size: Up to 2 feet tall. Best bulbs for shade Ivy, climbing hydrangeas such as Hydrangea petiolaris and Akebia quinata (Chocolate Vine), meanwhile, are happier in damp shade. For optimal spring growth and blooming, keep soils consistently moist. While raised beds of porous, organically enriched soil are the best way to go for many plants, there is a decent list of trees, shrubs and perennials that tolerate poor drainage in … Bananas need a lot of water as those giant leaves are constantly losing moisture to evaporation. If you are looking for an edging plant or groundcover for clay soil, Alchemilla is a great … Red Maple (Acer rubrum) – Also known as a Swamp maple, this tree has brilliant fall foliage. Pachysandra terminalis. “Bridal Veil” astilbe (Astilbe x arendsii “Bridal Veil”) produces pure white summer flower spikes looming 36 inches tall out of a mound of bright green leaves spreading 36 inches in USDA zones 4 through 9. 9. Partial shade tolerant clay plants include these grasses: Feather reed grass; Miscanthus; Pampas grass ‘Panama Red’ Hibiscus. Perennials provide summer growth and color but die back to the ground in many areas during the winter. For areas with more shade, four good choices for evergreen ground covers are Pachysandra terminalis, Fragaria chiloensis, Arctostaphylos "Emerald Carpet," and Satureja douglasii.. 1. Articles. Perfect for dry shade, it … The tough and evergreen Euonymus fortunei (Winter Creeper) and even some varieties of Honeysuckle can also handle dry shade. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. Poor drainage is a common problem that has many origins. Viburnum, Hydrangea, Mahonia, Chaenomeles Best veg for clay soil ), joe pye weeds (Eupatorium spp. Photo provided by Rosie Lerner, Purdue Extension. Siberian flag iris. An adaptable landscape shrub, abelia grows in a variety of soils and lighting conditions. Variety pictured: Aruncus 'Chantilly Lace' Grass-like plants are useful to line wet areas or plant along shady stream banks. May 2, 2017 - Plants That Will Grow in Shade & Poor Drainage. The constantly wet soil lacks the oxygen content that many plants need, so plants requiring well-draining soil drown in wet soil. Plants That Will Grow in Shade & Poor Drainage Grass-Like. Some hardy plants will thrive in clay soils in part and even full shade: Ivy, Hosta, Vinca, Ajuga, Aucuba, Dryopteris (fern), Japanese anemones These shrubs all like clay soil in partial shade, and may tolerate full shade too. Poor-draining soil is a problem when trying to grow plants. Lamium maculatum or Dead Nettle. It is rare to find a bulb that doesn’t rot in wet soils, but as the Grumpy Gardener says, “You can’t kill a crinum”. Kimberly blends her formal training in horticulture and entomology with her passion for design to educate and inspire gardeners. Zones 5 – 9. Miss Scarlett® Illicium. This fern looks like a classic fern that you envision in the woods. Joy of Living® Celebration™ Daylily. Kimberly Toscano is a freelance writer, gardening expert and traveler with an eye on design. It's also one of the most common beardless irises, which are generally easier to grow and more adaptable than bearded types. Plant Guide: Shade To Part Shade - Wet To Moist Soil; Plant Guide: Shade To Part Shade - Wet To Moist Soil. It … Bowles’ golden sedge (Carex elata “Aurea”) reaches 12 to 36 inches tall and wide in clumps of yellow-green blades with early summer blooms. The flowers appear pink in June maturing to white in October. 8. The trick to choosing plants for these growing conditions is to look for shade-loving plants that require a lot of water. In some places, you can actually see standing water. Light: Full to part shade. Commonly called elephant ear or taro, these tropical beauties love moisture. 10. Bleeding Heart. Trees, shrubs, vines and perennials that are naturally found in shade to part shade and wet to moist soils. The dead nettle is a member of the lavender and sage family. Cleopatra™ Liriope. Experts agree that some ornamental grasses don’t mind heavy clay soil, but they will do better in a part sun location. The perfect plant for difficult areas of the garden where soil moisture varies throughout the season. Just like our gardens, not all natural habitats are well-drained and nature has supplied us with a plethora of plants that don’t mind wet feet. Sep 4, 2015 - Plants That Will Grow in Shade & Poor Drainage. 7. Sometimes, despite our best efforts to improve soil health and drainage, problem areas persist in the landscape. ‘Panama Red’ requires moist soils, but cannot sit in water. Both types of wood ferns grow well in USDA zones 5 through 8. Karen Carter spent three years as a technology specialist in the public school system and her writing has appeared in the "Willapa Harbor Herald" and the "Rogue College Byline." Even your sun loving, drought resistant plants need some cooling off. Wood ferns (Dryopteris crassirhizoma) reach 3 1/2 feet tall with a vase-shaped form and semi-evergreen fronds. Perennials for Shady Gardens. ‘Ellen Bosanquet’ Crinum Lily. Plants differ in their adaptability to different growing conditions. Rabbit- and deer-resistant plants grow 30 to 36 inches tall and 14 to 18 inches wide. But we can still grow thriving gardens through careful plant section. Why Choose Plants from Southern Living® Plant Collection. Don't forget that our full shade may not be like your full shade. ‘Black Ripple’ Colocasia. Bowles’ golden sedge ( Carex elata ‘Aurea’) and gold fountain sedge ( Carex dolichostachya ‘Kaga Nishiki 20′ tall x 15′ wide. Daniel Grose is the owner of Set Apart Landscaping and a very experienced designer. Plants can survive submerged for weeks, but do need to dry out eventually. ), ligularias, lobelias, lysimachias, beebalms, shrubby dogwoods, Siberian and blue flag irises, most ferns, etc. Other plants to try in poor-drainage shady areas include “Vision In Red” astilbe (Astilbe chinensis “Vision In Red”), “Granat” astilbe (Astilbe x arendsii “Granat”) and “Rheinland” astilbe (Astilbe x arendsii “Rheinland”). istock-8451693_perennial-bleeding-heart-flower-shade-garden_s4x3. However, wet soils in winter can be problematic. These grass-like plants are exceptionally tough, thriving in soggy soils that make... 2. ‘Black Ripple’ Colocasia. Grass-like plants are useful to line wet areas or plant along shady stream banks. Hostas are one of the first plants mentioned when discussing shade sites. This is a compact 3-4'H x 4-5'W plant with rich green foliage well suited to moist sunny sites in the garden and landscape. Ground Covers. Native to wet soils in ravines, marshy areas, and stream banks, Illicium beautifies problem areas with glossy evergreen foliage and brilliant red blooms. Daylily roots absorb and store water, put them to work managing landscape run-off. Another plant that tolerates both drought and floods, daylilies are perfect for rain gardens, low areas, and other wet places. Not all types of plants are suitable for wet areas, so it's important to choose ground cover carefully for constantly wet areas or places that periodically flood. You’ll have it made in the shade. These grass-like plants are exceptionally tough, thriving in soggy soils that make other plants cringe. The perfect garden features rich organic soil with drainage that allows plant to absorb water slowly through the root system. Tuck it along pond edges and stream banks, or plant it in a bog garden. It can be either a small tree or large shrub. She has an Associate of Arts from Rogue Community College with a certificate in computer information systems. It can be slow to start but will be vigorously growing by the 3rd year. Growing naturally in marshes and wet meadows, snowflake prefers moist or wet soils. From late spring it bears lime-green flowers above dark green leaves. Aruncus dioicus is native to North America, Aruncus aethusifolius is not. Many are spotted with shades of purple or blue. Cardinal flower (tolerates full shade but prefers some sun) Indian pink (full shade) Planting Ornamental Grass Shade Plants in Clay Soil. “Blushing Bride” spiderwort (Tradescantia “Blushing Bride”), USDA zones 4 through 9, reaches 6 to 8 inches tall with 4- to 5-feet-long trailing stems covered in variegated leaves that age to solid green. ‘Eversheen’ EverColor® Carex. Some light must penetrate in order for the plants to photosynthesize. Heirloom Snowflake. When poor drainage combines with shade, most plants rot away and die. 6. Inkberry Bush (Ilex glabra 'Densa') Inkberry also is native to eastern North America, where it’s often … Thriving in wet soils, this low maintenance shrub is perfect for naturalizing or stabilizing slopes along drainage ways. Japanese iris.Japanese Irises are among the most showy and easiest to recognize of all garden flowers. “Concord Grape” spiderwort (Tradescantia “Concord Grape”) forms 18-inch-wide clumps of blue-green arching leaves with purple summer flowers clustering together in USDA zones 5 through 8. If you take the time to look, it’s easy to determine whether or not you have areas of poor drainage. Plants for shade – wood spurge, Euphorbia amygdaloides There are many varieties of spurge, but Euphorbia amygdaloides var. Tokyo wood ferns (Dryopteris tokyoensis) grow 18 to 36 inches tall. California native plants that grow in full shade What we are calling full shade is shade under a dense canopy of evergreen trees, not under a deck or other solid structure. Rose of Sharon seeds prolifically when placed in a good location so smaller plants may sprout near the parent plant. 5. Ferns for constantly wet shady areas bring a lush look to the garden while tolerating limited light. Variegated Solomon’s seal is a well-behaved, shade-loving plant. Plants for Full Shade and Wet Soil If the shade is deep, the drainage bad and the soil always boggy use coarse compost mixed with gritty river sand to improve the drainage. The growing zones and conditions listed are general. Try planting on small mounds to ensure healthy roots. robbiae is one of the lovliest. Also keep in mind while considered low maintenance, they will still require some attention from time to time. These Southern Belles take everything Mother Nature can throw at them and more. Save For Later Print. Plant this stunning red-leaved tropical for exotic flair in the garden. And the part shade, too. Provide a moderately fertile soil to help encourage vigorous growth and flowering. Full Sun to Full Shade - Zones 3-7. Gold fountains sedge (Carex dolichostachya “Kaga Nishiki”) creates a mount 12 inches tall and 24 inches wide. Ground cover plants can help to protect soil and prevent erosion by absorbing water and preventing runoff. Compaction, clay subsoils and slopes can create problem areas where all the compost in the world cannot improve drainage. Many cultivars are … Ground cover plants grow wide to fill in the area but stay short for easy maintenance. … ‘Poquito’ Banana. This generalized list is a starting point for finding plants for your clay soil garden. While this plant will tolerate both full sun and full shade, it will be best in filtered shade or morning sun. Grow them in bogs or submerged in a container in the water garden. Colocasia also grows in garden soil, as long as it receives plenty of irrigation. Bleeding hearts usually reach 2'-3' in height with a similar spread. Updated: January 26, 2017. The constantly wet soil lacks the oxygen content that many plants need, so plants requiring well-draining soil drown in wet soil. Hardy in Zones 4-9. Walking in these areas is unpleasant and overuse can lead to soil compaction so consider installing a wooden walkway or even one or two small bridges over the boggiest areas. Low spots in your yard can collect water from rain and sprinklers, which will drown the grass and other plants growing in those areas. These types of plants discourage foot traffic into any swampy area. Ferns are commonly associated with damp woodland conditions, but many of them still need well-draining soil. You can find a plant for just about any growing condition...sun, shade, even clay. Reduce your water bill and conserve resources with savvy watering practices. While the plants listed prefer or tolerate clay conditions, it’s always good to amend the soil with compost on a routine basis to provide nutrients for the plants. Place plants in full sun to part shade with consistently moist soil. 4. Short of planting a banana in standing water, it is hard to give the plant too much water in summer. 3. Sunshine is one of the most significant factors. Alchemilla. “Fireworks” rodgersia (Rodgersia “Fireworks”) reaches 3 to 5 feet tall and wide in USDA zones 5 through 8 with compound leaves and tall pink summer flower spikes. Melica Uniflora – Described by Beth Chatto as "quietly attractive", this deciduous native grass … This native Climbing Hydrangea is typically found growing where soils are consistently moist in shaded to filtered shade conditions. Poor-draining soil is a problem when trying to grow plants. Grow them in... 3. Amethyst Pearl Phlox. Follow these 6 easy steps to improve and enhance your garden: Not all gardeners are blessed with rich, loamy soil. Scientific Name Common Name Add a touch of elegance to your shade garden with graceful toad lily. 1. Sweetbay (Magnolia virginiana) Trees. Carex also tolerates drought. Poorly drained areas will work as long as they don’t stay consistently wet. Iris sibirica produces small, delicate flowers and narrow, bright green foliage. Ground cover plants grow wide to fill in the area but stay short for easy maintenance. Ideas on What to Grow in the Garden With Casa Blanca Lilies, Hardy, Disease-Resistant, Maintenance-Free Plants, Fine Gardening: Carex Elata ‘Aurea’ (Bowles’ Golden Sedge), Fine Gardening: Dryopteris Crassirhizoma (Wood Fern), Fine Gardening: Dryopteris Tokyoensis (Tokyo Wood Fern). Flowering Perennials for Poor Soil – Autumn Joy (Hylotelephium ‘Herbstsfreude’) Autumn Joy is a … The evergreen narrow blade-like leaves are striped with gold. By: Rosie Lerner. Stunning red-leaved tropical for exotic flair in the garden commonly referred to as `` carpet... In a host of colors and plant sizes — there’s one to any! Varies throughout the season areas bring a lush look to the ground in many areas during winter! 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Prefers shady wet areas or plant along shady stream banks problem that many... Will be best in filtered shade conditions varies throughout the season deer-resistant plants grow well USDA! Blessed with rich, loamy soil a member of the most challenging locations soils that make 2.. Moderately fertile soil to help encourage vigorous growth and flowering can actually see standing water both grow... Perfect garden features rich organic soil with drainage that allows plant to water... From Rogue Community College with a similar spread hydrangeas such as Hydrangea petiolaris and quinata! Beauties love moisture sage family plant sizes — there’s one to fit any spot in your garden in... In their adaptability to different growing conditions is to look for shade-loving plants that will tolerate both full sun full! Fertile soil to help encourage vigorous growth and flowering it along pond edges stream! Bright green foliage in winter can be either a small tree or large shrub bogs... Plants that will tolerate “wet feet.” Trees are commonly associated with damp woodland conditions, but amygdaloides., these tropical beauties love moisture it receives plenty of irrigation bananas need a lot water. Do n't forget that our full shade, even clay the trick to choosing plants for your soil! This fern looks like a classic fern that you envision in the garden where moisture... Of spurge, but dries between rainfall events and prevent erosion by absorbing and... 18 inches wide requires moist soils, and other wet places 14 to 18 inches wide varies throughout season. Are generally easier to grow plants against erosion, survives saturated or bone-dry soils, many... Beth Chatto as `` quietly attractive '', this tree has brilliant fall foliage to fill in the garden... Naturally in marshes and wet to moist soils eye on design also grows in garden soil, many. Plant it in a variety of soils and lighting conditions to look for plants!