Free Landscaping Suggestions for Shade & Drainage Problem Areas

Nov - 23

Free Landscaping Suggestions for Shade & Drainage Problem Areas

Working with an area which has poor drainage is a problem many gardeners do not wish to face. Add in how the place is shaded and some would only stop trying. But you may use such circumstances to your advantage or attempt to amend them, using only hard work and tools you have on hand.


Poor drainage is a big concern when it comes to lots of plants. Drainage is important because the root system below the soil’s surface collects water, oxygen and nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus and iron. After the soil does not drain correctly, many root systems become trapped at a pool of water causing them to drown from lack of air. The place may also be an eyesore or cause a mess after heavy rains.


While you do not have a large choice of plants to select from when it comes to a shaded, moist area, there are some that may thrive. Toad lilies (Tricyrtis spp.) Are native to wet Asian woodlands and will supply an exotic burst of colour to gardens at U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 to 9. Meadow rues (Thalictrum spp.) , growing in USDA zones 5 through 9, will also be fond of wet soils and come in a number of sizes. Thriving in USDA zones 5 through 9, Bowles’ golden sedge (Carex elata “Aurea”) loves moisture so much it will likewise grow in shallow water, while elephant’s ear (Colocasia esculenta “Illustris”) adds large, flopping leaf and interest to your wet, shaded garden at USDA plant zones 8 through 11.


Amending your soil could be the ideal solution. Clay soil, as an example, is not permeable enough to allow water drain. Adding organic material like a rich compost will help with drainage as well as the health of your soil. To amend poorly draining soil, add six 5-gallon buckets of compost per 100 square feet of area and till it in to a depth of 8 to 12 inches.

Other Solutions

To decorate the area, try something aside from planting in the floor. As an example, the area may be ideal for a rock garden with a bench and several potted plants. You may also attempt sloping the area down to enable some of the water to run off. If the issue results from rainwater runoff, consider catching your runoff with rain barrels or even a rain garden.

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