En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Plants for NY wetland yard

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Saturday - April 30, 2011

From: Fredonia, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Water Gardens
Title: Plants for NY wetland yard
Answered by: Brigid & Larry Larson

QUESTION:

We have standing water in our yard for the entire spring and sometimes summer if it's a rainy one. We dug a ditch and found that our yard has a natural spring, which explains a lot. I need to know what plants I can put in my garden that will LOVE the water. What do you suggest?

ANSWER:

Sure, New York has a selection of native plants that love a wet soil.  Your yard is likely not the only place with a natural spring bubbling up!

For selecting plants, I use the “Recommended Species” webpage, then click on New York and in this case, narrowed my selection down to those that flourish in “Moist-saturated” soils.  This search revealed 22 species of native plants that fit your request.  There were full-fledged trees, ferns and several attractive flowering plants.

Depending on your choice of color and blooming times for flowers, ones that should work well  in that planting include Lobelia cardinalis (Cardinal flower)Lobelia siphilitica (Great blue lobelia) and Rosa palustris (Swamp rose).   The name is a bit indicative, isn’t it!

                   
Lobelia cardinalis
                       Lobelia siphilitica            Rosa palustris

If you are looking for shrubs,  Rhododendron maximum (Great laurel) and Amelanchier canadensis (Canadian serviceberry) are in this selection.  Another plant with a name suggesting its habit is Pteridium aquilinum (Western bracken fern).

                          
Rhododendron maximum
          Amelanchier canadensis          Pteridium aquilinum

   Hopefully this selection method and a little bit of planning for your yard foliage will give you a good wetland garden!

 

More Water Gardens Questions

Poor drainage in clay soils in Langhorne PA
September 15, 2009 - Our backyard has very poor drainage, to the point of up to 3 inches of rain can sit until it is evaporated. Talking to neighbors, they informed us that there use to be a terrain that ran through our ...
view the full question and answer

Hungry turtles trample pond in Houston Texas
October 17, 2011 - I have a very large back yard pond (actually, a former swimming pool) that's home to a bullfrog, four Red-eared slider turtles, and scads of gambusia (little mosquito eating fish). I'd like to add n...
view the full question and answer

Planting times for aquatic plants from Winston Salem NC
July 12, 2012 - I need to know the correct time of year to plant the following pond plants Swamp Rose Mallow, Southern Blue Iris, Soft Rush, American Bur-reed, American lotus, Woolgrass and Duck Potato Is it better...
view the full question and answer

Best time to plant wetland plants in NY
April 19, 2010 - Hello Mr. Smarty Plants - I'm working on a fresh water, shoreline wetland creation project in New York State. I've created two zones of native wetland plantings, an emergent shallow marsh zone ...
view the full question and answer

Understory plants for Lake Forest IL
June 21, 2009 - We have a large mostly hardwood lot in Lake County. It floods when it rains hard and remains damp most of the year due to the amount of shade and clay based top soil. Besides the hardwood trees and ...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center