I need a perennial for shade and wet soil

Asked May 1, 2017, 4:15 PM EDT

I have a 5 foot circle (surrounded with "bullets)" that has 3 hours of sun. The soil is damp (or wet when it rains). My hostas died the first season. The plants need to be only up to 18" high because nearby there is a gorgeous Amur Maple (20 feet tall) and a (slow growing) Japanese evergreen which is only 4 feet high that is trying to grow tall. I amended the clay soil within the circle. Can you help me, Please?

Ramsey County Minnesota plants for wet sites plant selection

1 Response

Here is a list of plants that may work:
https://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/yard-garden/flowers/perennials-for-moist-soils/
Note that there are dwarf varieties of some normally tall plants like Aruncus (goat's beard).

Another list, but one from South Carolina, so it has some plants that aren't hardy here:
http://www.clemson.edu/extension/hgic/plants/other/landscaping/hgic1718.html

As noted in the lists, some plants can't handle standing water. if your plants will be under water for more than a few hours you may want to find some way to drain the area. French drains or planting on a mound might be options. If you can't do that, stick with something that is listed as being able to handle flooding.

The problem with amending clay soil in a small area is that you can create a bathtub effect. The amended soil drains, but the clay holds the water in the area. See http://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/landscaping/implement/amending_soils.html .

Good luck with your project!