Perennials for Moist Areas


As with a hot, dry site, why fight the conditions offered by heavy, wet, or boggy soil?  Do you really have the time or money to install drainage tiles as most garden books advise for such sites?  Where too much soil moisture rots most perennials, select those whose roots seek water and they will reward you.  In many cases, these will be perennials that gave you trouble in other sites-probably because you couldn’t satisfy their thirst requirements.  If the site has a natural body of water, such as a stream or small standing pond, you can create a tranquil, natural-looking water garden with moisture-loving ferns and perennials.

 

You may decide that your damp or boggy garden site is a blessing rather than a detriment after discovering some of the fine perennials that will flourish there and nowhere else.  In damp soil, you’ll be able to grow some unusual and dramatically tall perennials that aren’t seen in many gardens.  Plants that thrive with wet feet include the feathery, pink-flowered Japanese meadowsweet (Filipendula purpurea), golden bigleaf goldenray (Ligularia dentate) with its purple-tinged stems and leaves, bold-blossomed Joe-Pye weed (Eupatorium purpureum), and elegant cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis), to name a few.

 

Aconitum – Monkshood

 

Adiantum pedatum – Northern    Maidenhair

 

Aegopodium – Snow on the Mountain

 

Alchemilla millis – Lady’s Mantle

 

Artemesia lactiflora – Wormwood

 

Aruncus dioicus – Goatsbeard

 

Astilbe x arendsii – False Spirea

 

Athyrium nipponicum – Painted Ferns

 

Caltha palustris – Marsh marigold

 

Campanula glomerata – Clustered Bellflower

 

Chelone lyonii – Turtle head

 

Cimicifuga racemosa – Bugbane

 

Coreopsis verticillata – Thread-leaf Coreopsis

 

Digitalis – Foxglove

 

Dodecantheon meadia – Shooting Stars

 

Dryopteris spp. – Male ferns

 

Erythonium americanum – Trout lily

 

Eupatorium purpureum – Joe-Pye Weed

 

Filipendula purpurea – Meadowsweet

 

Gunnera – Gunnera

 

Hemerocallis – Daylily

 

Hosta spp. – Plaintain lily

 

Houttuynia – Chameleon plant

 

Iris chrysographes – Black Iris

 

Iris ensata – Japanese Iris

 

Iris psuedocorus – Water Iris

 

Iris versicolor – Blue Flags

 

Liatris squarossa – Blazing Stars

 

Ligularia dentate – Golden ray

 

Liriope spp. – Lilyturf

 

Lobelia cardinalis – Cardinal Flower

 

Lobelia siphilitica – Blue Lobelia

 

Lysimachia cleth. – Gooseneck Loosestrife

 

Lysimachia punctata –  Yellow Loosestrife

 

Lysimachia nummularia – Moneywort

 

Malva – Hollyhock Mallow

 

Matteuccia – Ostrich Fern

 

Mentha spp. – Mint varieties

 

Mertensia – Virginia Blue Bells

 

Mimulus – Monkey Flower

 

Monarda – Bee Balm

 

Myosotis – Forget-me-nots

 

Osmunda cinnamomea – Cinnamon Fern

 

Osmunda regalis – Royal Fern

 

Petasites – Butterbur

 

Phalris arundinacea – Ribbon Grass

 

Phlox divaricata – Sweet Phlox

 

Physostegia virginiana – Obedient Plant

 

Polygonatum spp. – Solomon’s Seal

 

Polystichum spp. – Shield Fern

 

Primula japonica – Japanese Primrose

 

Rodgersia spp. – Fringeleaf Rodgersia

 

Rudbeckia spp. – Coneflower

 

Thaliactrum – Meadow Rue

 

Tradescantia – Spiderwort

 

Trollius - Globeflower