Thirsty Plants, Shrubs and Trees to Dry Up Drainage Issues in Your Yard

Thirsty Plants, Shrubs and Trees to Dry Up Drainage Issues in Your Yard

Ever walked out into your yard and stepped into that relentless spongy area never seems to dry up? It’s annoying, hard to mow through and very hard to keep healthy grass growing there.

There are so many ways to fix these types of yard drainage problems, all depending on the individual situation, intensity of the problem, space available, site conditions, budget and goals. That means it isn’t always ideal to dig up this area to install drainage pipe. As a landscape designer and someone who wants to make practical and visual improvements, I like to look to nature first before bringing in manufactured products.

So creatively, we consider our horticultural options to help soak up soggy spots in and around your yard. Strategically placed plants, shrubs and trees can make a huge difference in addressing those wet spots without creating an eyesore. Plus, they’re very affordable, and in most cases, you can probably do it yourself more easily than building stream beds or digging for drainage pipe.

Flower Beds 

In areas close to the house, based on the availability of sunlight, a solution could be a flower bed, filled with what we call “thirsty” flowers. The shallow root zone for flowers means it’s safe to plant right next to your house and doesn’t risk damaging foundations, utilities or sidewalks. Some options for plants in this bed would include

  • Bee balm
  • Blue flag Iris
  • Cardinal flower
  • Daylily
  • Globeflower
  • Golden club 
  • Japanese iris 
  • Joe Pie Weed
  • Primrose 
  • Purple Coneflower
  • Yellow trout lily

Island Garden Beds

If the wet spot is in an area in the middle of your yard – one potential option could be an island garden bed. Because of where these are located, it’s nice to have higher vertical elements, like shrubs in the garden to create a more aesthetically pleasing look. These beds are easy to mow around when shaped in oblong, circular or serpentine patterns. Mixed with the plants in the list above, water-absorbing shrubs make a nice focal point with the breadth provided by adjacent plants.

  • American cranberry bush 
  • Black chokeberry 
  • Blue elderberry 
  • Inkberry
  • Pussy willow
  • Red twig dogwood 
  • Summersweet
  • Spice bush
  • Sweet Pepperbush
  • Winterberry

Tree Plantings

It’s not always convenient to plant a new tree in your yard if you don’t have the space, sunlight, or there’s too much competition with other trees. But if you can afford the space without infringing on your driveway, foundation, underground infrastructure or utilities, a tree can really soak up some water. You want to check your plant hardiness zone and make sure these trees can survive in your area. 

  • Red Maple
  • Ash
  • Black Gum
  • White Cedar
  • River Birch
  • White Cedar
  • Oriental arborvitae
  • Weeping willow
  • Freeman’s maple
  • Water tupelo
  • Magnolia

If you have drainage issues in your yard and need assistance designing and implementing a solution, we’d be happy to help. Our team is uniquely qualified to assess your property and offer a variety of options to fit your vision and budget while properly addressing the problem.  And because we are also stocked with the equipment and tools needed for landscape construction, we can handle larger drainage issues that plague your yard.

Serving Harford, Baltimore and Cecil Counties in Maryland, we have established a reputation of quality workmanship, customer service, professional designs are known as the go-to firm for outdoor living, landscape and lawn care. Schedule an appointment with a designer here!  

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