Q: We have a water detention facility running through our backyard. A lot of our yard is unusable due to soggy soil. Can you suggest a ground cover that we could use to soak up water enough to walk and run there?
A: There are several plants that tolerate soggy spots. They don’t exactly “soak up” water from wet soil. To do that you’d need more leaf surface than plants can provide.
One solution would be to add enough soil to the area to make a “living/playing space” having a bog beside it. Use plants from the list to beautify the wet area.
PLANTS FOR WET SOIL
Bottlebrush buckeye Aesculus parviflora
Florida anise Illicium floridanum
Florida leucothoe Agarista populiflolia
Inkberry Ilex glabra
Sweet pepperbush Clethra alnifolia
Sweetshrub Calycanthus floridus
Virginia sweetspire Itea virginica
Wax myrtle Myrica cerifera
Winterberry Ilex verticillata
Bee balm Monarda didyma
Blue flag iris Iris brevicaulis
Canna Canna spp.
Ironweed Vernonia noveboracensis
Japanese iris Iris ensata
Joe-Pye weed Eupatorium purpureum
Lady fern Athyrium filix-femina
River oats Chasmanthium latifolium
Royal fern Osmunda regalis
Siberian iris Iris siberica
Spiderwort Tradescantia virginiana
Swamp sunflower Helianthus angustifolium
Sweet flag Acorus gramineus
Yellow flag Iris pseudacorus