Newly Registered
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Apr 15, 2009 4:04 pm
Location: Wisconsin

Drought tolerant and water tolerant plants?

Hopefully someone can point me in the right direction. :D

Barely anything grows along the side of our house because it gets too much sun. Even the grass is known to die if we don't get enough rain. There is a big wooden planter along the house that is going to waste. I'd love to put some plants in there this year and figure drought tolerant would be best. Any ideas?

Then there is another part of my garden that floods when we get a decent rain. Being slightly close to the water table it can be slow to drain. I have planted numerous flowers in the area and only two have thrived. Any suggestions as to what I can put here? It gets the morning sun and is near a pine tree, if that matters at all.

And yes, I would prefer perennials. Thanks for all your help! :D

Green Thumb
Posts: 439
Joined: Thu Nov 09, 2006 11:17 am
Location: Midcoast Maine, Zone 5b

Your home state has an excellent publication on rain gardens which you might want to consult with regard to the wet side. [url][/url]

The container question is difficult to answer without knowing more about the container and your location. Containers tend to be subject to wider and more rapid swings in soil temperature (and soil moisture) relative to plants in the ground. That can be deadly to plants over the course of the winter, especially in the fall freeze up and spring thaw periods. If it is a really large container and you can keep it insulated over the winter with piled leaves or snow you might be able to get it to work with some of the more robust/hardy perennials but broadly speaking it is more difficult to keep plants alive in containers than it is in the ground.

The Helpful Gardener
Posts: 7491
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2004 9:17 pm
Location: Colchester, CT

I am a fan of raingardens and personally love native iris; there is one in our neck of the woods called Iris versicolor, or blue flag, that is exquisite and hardy and loves seasonal wet feet and damp soils...


As for the flower box, MD is right, we need more info on what you want. African daisies as annuals would be great, but don't know if you want to go there every year...sedums like 'Angelina' or 'Lidakense' are pretty hardy and trouble free and look good all year, but I have never tried them in containers and don't know if they would pull through, although one or two in the ground should give you starts every year...


User avatar
Posts: 30640
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 7:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M(11/B)

How about self-seeding annuals like portulaca, sweet alyssum, viola, coreopsis, cleome, cosmos, four o'clock, ... dill and borage and tomato (! I'm tired of weeding them out of my veg garden! :roll:) are pretty reliable self-seeders, and aquilegia and foxglove though not annuals, also keep seeding themselves.... 8) I'm sure there are others. :wink:

Newly Registered
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Apr 15, 2009 4:04 pm
Location: Wisconsin

Thanks for the tip on rain gardens. I will make sure to ask about specific plants when I make a trip to the garden center. :)

As for the container...I don't know if this really helps but it was once used for growing tomatoes. They did fairly well as long as they were watered so maybe I should just find a plant that thrives in full sun...? :?

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Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25279
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 6:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

The trouble with containers is 1) they dry out a lot faster than things in the ground and 2) in the winter, the roots get frozen up a lot more than things in the ground. So what you are looking for is tough, hardy plants with a range of adaptability and especially cold hardiness for a couple zones colder than you would be if they were in the ground. Some suggestions would be: asters, basket of gold (doesn't get very tall but would drape beautifully over the edge of the container and is gorgeous when, as mine is right now, it's covered with bright golden yellow flowers), bellflowers, bergenia (nice because it keeps its leaves all winter), black eyed susans, bee balm, coneflower, daylily, penstemon, spiderwort... some of these you would still have to keep an eye out and water if you weren't getting rain, re the part 1).

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