Plants for Soggy Shade

Q: I have absolutely no lawn or plant experience. My unit is a corner of the building. The north side gets no direct sunlight and the east side has sun in the morning.

For some reason the soil around the unit has wet soil. All of the original plantings died. I replaced them with azaleas and gardenias. All of the azaleas on the north side are dead or severely struggling and declining toward death.

The landscaper has recommended dwarf yaupon holly. Is this a good plant for my soil conditions?

A: One of the first things a gardener has to accept is that all plants need light at different levels. With no direct sunlight on the north side, I can see why things are declining. Note that the azaleas closest to the corner have more leaves than those further away.

The other thing to accept is that plant roots need to breathe. Some plants will tolerate soggy soil but few do well in the wet clay I imagine you have.

The yaupon holly tolerates wet soil….. but it won’t get enough sunshine.

Think about using a background mixture of Virginia sweetspire and autumn fern. They both tolerate shady wet spots. In front, try sweet flag, variegated Japanese iris, alumroot, coral bells, and variegated Solomon’s seal. (More Plants List)

soggy shade 1

soggy shade 2

soggy shade 3

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