Rain-Ready Plants

Spotted joe-pye weed

Spotted joe-pye weed likes wet feet.

April showers bring May flowers, but they also create puddles and soggy spots in your yard. With more frequent and intense storms predicted due to climate change, designing a rain-ready yard is a must. Luckily, there are beautiful, native plants that love the extra water. These plants will thrive in low-lying areas where water slows and seeps into the ground, at the bottom of a rain garden, in a soakaway, or at the base of a downspout.
 
Flowers
Flowers that thrive in moist-wet gardens can be used in rain gardens too. Some great choices include blue flag iris, swamp milkweed, great blue lobelia, spotted joe-pye weed, or white turtlehead.
 
Shrubs
Shrubs add texture and height to any yard or garden including those with wet areas. They help hold soil in place and can fill larger spaces. Choose versatile, water-loving shrubs such as white meadowsweet, red osier dogwood, spicebush, and black chokeberry.
 
Grasses and Ferns
Switchgrass is an easy-to-care-for rain garden favourite. It’s also equally at home at the base of a downspout. Try ferns for shadier areas, such as cinnamon fern and lady fern. Sensitive fern can tolerate some sun, particularly if its roots are kept wet. The taller ostrich fern will provide coverage for larger, sunnier areas.
 
Water all new plants throughout the first season or until well-established. Continue to check moisture during hot, dry weather. Remember to put a splash pad or large rocks at the base of a downspout to protect soil and plants. After heavy rainstorms, ensure soil and mulch haven’t washed away. 
 
Watch for CVC’s rain ready plant list later this year.

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