Choosing Plants For Your Rain Garden

rain garden plants

Are you looking for rain garden plants? If so, there are a few key selections that you need to know about before you start your project. First, before you even consider growing any rain garden plants, make sure that your site has adequate drainage. Second, choose plants that will work with your climate and drainage characteristics. And finally, remember that rain gardens do not require a great deal of water but will need a little from time to time, to keep them healthy and beautiful.

A rain garden basically functions similar to a retention pool: it collects standing water during the day and then allows it to evaporate into the ground and be absorbed by the earth at night. But, instead of being water-thirsty species, the best rain gardens are those that are naturally suited to an abundance of standing water, as well as, species that can tolerate floodwater. For example, during periods when there is an excessive amount of rainfall, some plants are particularly well-suited to taking up excess water and keeping it from drowning the surrounding areas. Some examples of such plants include Convolvulus pluricaulis, Scripus acts, Wallichum plus, and Aster polysperma. When there is an excessive amount of floodwater, however, some plants are less well suited for taking up floodwater, especially those that grow in very wet habitats. These plants are often decimated by excessive amounts of standing water.

Rain Garden Plants

A drop of water on a sunny day

Most rain garden plants can survive in relatively wet soil, provided that they have good root systems and are capable of withstanding drought. However, some plants are better than others for use in a garden in wet soil. Plants that are indigenous to moist habitats are often the best choices for use in wet soil. These plants are most likely to survive in a garden with sufficient drainage and include cacti, Junipers, Pistachios, Salvia species as well as the likes of Bulrush and Ivy.

For gardens in dry conditions, plants that do well in the absence of excess moisture include those native to regions with low rainfall. For example, shrubs like Sedum heterophyllum and Scirpus acutifolia are best adapted to stand on bare stones, gravel, or substrate in dry conditions. Such species include Aspen and needlepoint ash, Aspen spirea, and Ponderosa pine. Some of these species are also able to tolerate standing water in containers.

A rain garden is usually designed as a low-impact solution to water conservation. Rain gardens can be designed with low-impact paving materials including bricks or stone, using materials that absorb water like pebbles. There are also low-impact paving materials that form a base for rafts to float on, like plastic rafts. A simple method is to design the entire garden right up onto the ground using low-impact paving material like pebbles and stone. The plants and livestock can be supported through the use of metal grids and low-impact paving slabs.

A Much Ado

Rainwater is used to flooding the surfaces in the container and drains away into the natural water table under the earth. This provides a natural source of nutrients for the plants and a means for irrigation. The porous surfaces in which the waterfalls create pockets that hold plant roots while allowing water to pass through the medium and out of the plant’s root structure. Where it is possible, it is preferable to build the vegetation from seed so that they will have roots that develop and spread into the natural soil environment. Some of the most successful crops grown in small containers include cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, strawberries, leafy greens, and herbs. However, it is not essential that the plants are grown in a container; they can also be successfully cultivated in planters that have been designed with permeable surfaces and large enough root networks.

There are many advantages to integrating native plants into a rain garden. The primary benefit is that native plants will thrive even in conditions where there is no regular rainfall. For example, they are often very sensitive to dry conditions and it is difficult to grow them in areas with very high levels of acidity. Some of the best choices for using native plants are fennel, hostas, starches, reeds, and other grasses.

Final Words

The frequency and amount of water used to water the basin should be carefully considered. The frequency should be enough to completely saturate the soils. Too much water may cause the basin to become oversaturated and the rain garden will then drain too quickly. If the frequency is not sufficient, then it is wise to reduce the water levels as soon as possible. Another factor that should be considered when deciding on the frequency and amount of water used is the ability of the soils to retain moisture. If the soils are too porous, it will be necessary to build the basin up higher to provide adequate drainage.

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