I am in the process of putting in a lasagna bed for a bog/wet area that is approximately 75' X 4'. I need ideas of plants to put in this long bed. I need plants that like moist soil and wet feet and can also tolerate occassional flooding without getting root rot. This area is almost always mushy when you walk around back there. Which is why I wanted to do a full-length garden. It's a useless area of my yard except for the possibility of being a "wet/bog" garden bed. I am hoping there are some plants that either host or are nectar plants for butterflies and hummingbirds.
I am thinking of putting one of my small container ponds in one small section of the bed. The area gets full sun for at least 6 hours a day, though some of it gets full sun ALL day. There is a large Oak tree that casts shade at different times of the day on part of the garden bed. But for the most part it gets full sun almost all day.
I am hoping some of you can give me some suggestions for plants. I live in zone 9B on the east coast of Florida. I am open to all ideas! I know canna and scarlet hibicus (Texas Star) are good choices and I have some of those plants in pots ready for that area. But I need a LOT more plants.
I have a small "swamp dogwood tree" in the left back corner which I just planted this past spring. It's in the process of getting established. Oddly, it bloomed twice for me. Once in the early spring and again at the end of summer. Go figure. And I have a small Walters Viburnum bush that also blooms a couple times a year in the right back corner of the garden bed. Which leaves about 65' of available wet garden bed to fill in between those 2 back corners.
Does anyone grow Iris?
Here is a photo of the wood edging which I just completed installing. It will be filled in with a layer of cardboard and then dirt/compost on top of that.
Any plant suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!
Depending on how wet it is here are a few suggestions:
Various Mallows, they look a lot like hibiscus and are beatiful when blooming
Mint will grow anywere
some varieties of elephant ear do very well in wet areas
some varieties of lotus might work in your wettest areas
bog iris - I have a yellow variety that is tough as nails but is very pretty
Some of these can be invasive so you may want to consider that, but at least it is a start!
I have some yellow water iris I could send you. Have to check weather or not I can send them to Fl. They are invasive. I love the Tropical Cannas beautiful color on the leaves and flowers. If you want something big and green take a look at these Gunneras. In this picture they are growing in a stream under trees. I'm not sure if they need shade or not but I loved the picture. http://davesgarden.com/forums/fp.php?pid=2304758
Wvdaisy - Dwarf Papyrus is very attractive but is listed as invasive in Florida. (Though I could pot it and keep it from spreading. Nice plant.) I'm not sure about the Elephant Ear plant. Googled info says to plant in a well-drained area. Do you happen to know which daylilies like bog areas? I love daylilies and didn't know there were any that liked wet feet! I would love to add some to this garden!!!
jeri11 - Unfortunately, Parrot's Feather is considered invasive here in Florida. (But it is an attractive and delicate looking plant. Thanks for the suggestion.) I love the look of Iris, but ...
I am hearing that many Iris plants can also be invasive. Do you or anyone know of varieties that are not invasive? I really would like to add some to my bog garden.
rylaff - Horsetail reed looks interesting. I have 2 small container ponds and might use that plant in one or both of them. So your Elephant Ears grows in a bog area? Internet search says to plant in well-drained area. Yours is actually in a bog/wet area? I am looking into white butterfly ginger, iris, and dwarf papyrus. I did a google on Marsh Marigolds and really like the looks of that plant! Never knew there was such a plant. Thank you for those suggestions.
HollyAnnS - I want to avoid any invasive plants, but ... I would love a yellow iris. I wonder if it could be put in a pot and grown in a small container pond? Would a pot keep it from spreading?
That photo of the Gunneras is awesome! I doubt my narrow bog garden is big enough for something like that, but it sure is an unusual plant! I am really looking to garden with smaller plants that are not invasive. My intentions for this bog garden is for butterflies, birds (hummers), and bees. I know that canna, swamp milkweed, Joe Pye Weed, White Butterfly Ginger, possibly the Marsh Marigolds would be attractant plants for these creatures.
Thanks everyone for all the suggestions so far. Makes me wish I had a few acreas with a large pond on it! All the plant suggestions are just great!
The Marsh Marigold should work well in you situation. Even potted the yellow iris would burst out and take over unless you repotted at least annually, in your zone maybe more often than that. I have orange ditchlilies(daylilies), and a rusty orange color daylily that are in a very wet hosta bed here. I'm not sure how to find out what other daylilies do well with wet feet.
I had several elephant ears in my pond last summer, one that comes to mind right away is 'Illustrus'. It did very well.
Lana - I hit the daylily forum to ask about bog daylilies and everyone that has posted so far says that there are none. I wonder what variety you have? Are they possibly fulva Kwanso known as the common ditchlily? They are absolutely beautiful! Though they say they are a bit invasive. But you know what ... I might consider them anyway. They are so pretty! No seeds though. I'll have to purchase tubers from a nursery.
How big does your Elephant Ear get? Height and spread?
yes, the common ditch lily is one of them, the other is a darker color. I wouldn't buy any, there will be plenty for trade or postage on here I'm sure! I also have one that doesn't grow very high but has a reddish bloom. Mom has grown it in her bog for years. I grew it shallow in the pond last summer.
I have both colocasias and xanthosomas. My colocasias adore having wet feet. They get big like that!!!! I have them in the upper pond where they sit in water. I have them in the pond and I have them in a bog. They do great. The xanthasomas do not do so well. Stick with the colocasias and they will be very happy and will grow big and multiply. The white butterfly gingers do great in my upper pond. They sit in the water and are very happy like that. The horsetail reed is awesome but very invasive.
Becky, I know I have some good pics of that daylily but it's locked in my old puter and until I can afford to get it fixed so I can remove my hundreds of pics we're out of luck...wait, I'll see of I have a pic of it in my DG journal!
rylaff - I love the look of the colocasias but am thinking it might be just a wee too big for my garden area. Though, I understand that there might be a dwarf version?
Lana - Your red lily is gorgeous! I see that you marked the entry as unknown variety. So this daylily actually grows in a wet area, correct? How is it on spreading? I'm very interested to know more. :-)
When I posted on the Daylily Forum, one of the members gave me a name and website of a gentleman that actually grows all of his daylilies in pots with them sitting in 2" of water. That way the roots are always wet. He's grown thousands of beautiful daylilies that way. Here's the website: http://www.tomsdaylilies.com/
I emailed him and he said he's been doing it that way for years! Amazing!!! Actually very fascinating. I love daylilies and have success with most of mine. But the ones that don't do so well are actually in a very dry area of my yard. So there may be something to the roots having access to water/moisture 24/7.
Oh WOW! That's a great list Deborah and Susan! Thank you so very much! I recognize and have some of those plants in starter pots already! And some folks here from this thread and forum have been very generous to send me seeds, cuttings, and tubers! Some of my plants that I got as tubers are already blooming! And others are not too far behind. I guess a lot of these plants like the cooler weather vs. the hot weather of Florida.
Becky: I've had luck with Louisiana iris. They can do water - wet - damp - moist and can do sun or part shade, and don't seem to care if they get cold in the winter.
Also Lobelia (I have "Ruby Slippers"), and dwarf umbrella palm(Cyperus alternifolius).
Someone also told me creeping jenny does well in a bog, but I haven't tried it myself.
Thanks, DebinSC! I do like the Louisiana Irises. I received some Orange Flower Ditch Lily tubers from 2 different folks on the Day Lily forum here on DG. They just took off in the pots, so I think they are going to like the bog garden as well. I also received some canna tubers from a trader on another website. She told me they were small red blooms on the 3 large canna tubers she sent me, but 2 have started blooming and they are pale peach/apricot colored instead. (I wanted red, so I will buy a couple tubers from Wal-Mart when I go shopping this weekend.) Though the pale peach color will look good with the orange ditch lilies in one of the bog garden sections. So the flower color scheme is working out ... much to my surprise!
I'll have to check into the Ruby Slippers Lobelia and the Creeping Jenny!
I can't get mine to spread.. wish it would cover the area where I planted it. Maybe this year. It can be cut back through and maintained I think. I know a gardener who really knows his stuff and he uses it for the pretty :)
This bog garden I am trying to fill has 10 sections in a row that are each 4' X 6' garden beds. I have the Canna as seen in the photo. And some ditch lilies that will possibly go in the same bed as these canna. I was thinking about doing 3 of the beds with that combo and some other plants as well. Maybe every 3rd bed I'd plant this grouping. I don't know? What do you think? Or should I just plant them all together in one or two beds?
I hear that the ditch lilies can become invasive. I am thinking of putting a underground barrier around each bed I put them in to try to contain them to just the bed they are supposed to be in. Does anyone have any experience growing them? I am wondering how deep the tuberous roots grow?
Don't give up on the Colocasia elephant ears just yet. Illustris, Black Magic, and Black Stem Fontanesi form gorgeous clumps that are not extravagantly large (as are the generic Colocasia esculenta, which get huge). And there's a wonderful miniature, Colocasia fallax, that loves water, spreads readily but not aggressively, and stays small. Check it out.
If you like iris--consider Variegated Blue Iris, Laevigata 'Variegata'. They grow upright to 36". Bloom in mid-spring and display beautiful varigated foliage thruout the season.
Also, brand new for 2007, Red Bog Lily, Crnum Menehune. Once you see it, you'll have to have it! Upright to 24"; blooms bright pink during the summer and has interesting foiliage as well. Tropical to most of the US, however, it should be hardy for you.
Hi Becky - hope you don't mind a few pics - some of the plant already mentioned, and a few others. These all grow beautifully in my pond and streams -
First, Lobelia Cardinalis (Cardinal Flower) - loves the damp to wet, grows to about 3-4 feet in full sun to partial shade. He's in the center with the piercing red flowers. You can also see Parrot Feather, which is not invasive here, but may be in your area.
Next is the Japanese Iris, which also loves sitting in water to 3 inches. I've got two pics. One is in the same area as the Lobelia, just ahead and did bloom, although this is the first year he was planted so he is small. This bloom was the first week of June. The lobelia is right beside, but is just beginning to grow.
Dax - WOWEE! Your pond and stream is fabulous! Thank you for the photos! Loved looking at every one of them! And I do see some plants from your photos that I would like to try in my bog area.
Thank you so much for posting those photos! Looks like you have a bit of water gardener's heaven in your yard! I can hear the water trickling as I was looking at each photo! Did you put it in yourself or have a pro do it for you? I'm really impressed either way!!!!
Ooh Ooh! I have to jump in and say pitcher plants! The folks on the carnivorous plant forum talk about bogs all the time so they could definitely help. Plus, there are several pitcher plants native to Florida, and all are endangered. My favorite are the hooded pitcher plants. I like to go hiking in a wetland preserve and they are so cute. They have pretty yellow flowers, and they eat bugs! What more could you want? White-top pitcher plants are also very beautiful. Another good choice for a smaller tree is a loblolly bay. They're also a native that grows in the wetlands and have flowers that look like white camellias. They really caught my eye last summer when I went hiking; I went out and bought one right away! I second the motion on the cardinal lobelia - it's another great, showy native that likes it moist.
Just thought of another one - pickerel weed. I don 't know if it needs to be fully submerged; I see it growing in and on the edge of ponds. Beautiful purple flowers appear almost year round. There is a pond near a local post office that is full of them and it is just beautiful.
mellielong - Thanks for some "native" plant suggestions. I like pickerel weed. Do you know if it is consider invasive and on the prohibited Florida list? And I do like the Pitcher plants. I had been considering them. But I am also gardening for butterflies and hummers and wasn't sure if such plants would be a threat to them. How big are the two Pitcher plants that you suggested? I don't know anything about carnivorous bog plants. They are cool looking! Very unique in appearance.
Actually, pickerel weed is native! I don't know much about hummers, but there are plenty of butterflies in the wetland I go to, and they seem to just ignore the pitcher plants. I think the larvae would be more likely to eat the leaves than to actually crawl in the pitcher so they should be ok. I think with the assortment you'll have, they'll likely just go to the plants they like. And the hummingbirds will LOVE the cardinal lobelia.
mellielong - Thanks for your opinion of the Pitcher plants and butterflies. Do you happen to know just how big the Pitcher plants get? I have never seen one, so I am not sure. They do look really interesting! ;-) And I will definitely check into the availability of Pickerel weed. Sounds like some nice plants ... all of them! Thank you, thank you!
Very nice stream. I had something like that in mind but my stream turned out quite different. I had to have higher walls as I'm near wetlands and during the summer things could overflow. We have been known to have some floods in our area.
Even though my stream is different in construction, I will still have various plants growing in it. It just takes time to get all this worked out.
Hi, and thanks SO MUCH for your kind comments - I and my brothers put in the ponds and stream in the spring of 2005, and it was an amazing experience. I am blessed with brothers who are very knowledgable (worked) in the construction trades, and they had the equipment, and knew how to construct it so there was absolutely no leakage, and thus I have a 5' wide stream.
And I've got pickerel weed, I just keep forgetting the name of it - that's the one that looks like an arrow head, right? It has taken longer to get established, but here is a pic from last year on the pond edge with elephant ears and iris.
I hope you don't mind all the pics, just want to maybe give you some ideas of what you might like, etc.
I know it really helped me last year when I was trying to decide what to put where - Dax
Fred - You show post a few photos of your water garden. I love looking at other folks gardens to get ideas.
Dax - I really love your water garden. I bet you spend a lot of time outside! (I would if I had a beautiful, tranquil water garden like you have). You and your brother deserve a big pat on the back for the amazing job you did creating the ponds and stream. I can see that there was a lot of loving details put into this project. Something I am sure that you will treasure forever. Just lovely!!!
Purple is my favorite color so pickerel weed naturally caught my eye. I never really noticed this plant until I was sitting outside the post office waiting for my brother to run in and mail a package. All the purple blooms caught my eye so of course I had to get out of the car and see what it was. I like to mix in natives as much as possible - cuts down on the workload since they can fend for themselves a lot! Gives me more time to focus on my fussy plants. And to answer your question, most pitcher plants top out around 12-18 inches, although there is a variety of hooded pitcher plant called the "Okeefenokee Giant" that gets up to three feet! Here's a picture I took of a whole bunch of them in their natural habitat.
Mellie - I like purple too. My flower scheme in my yard is red, purple, and yellow. I'm gonna have to find a place to purchase some of that Pickerel Weed. There might be a nursery local that sells it. Hmmmm...
The minute I saw your photo, I had a flashback to a wooded area that I have been to that looked similar. I think there used to be a place where I grew up that had tons of those Pitcher Plants growing. I had no idea what they were at the time. Man, that is soooo weird! In wonder who here in Florida would sell them? Thanks for posting that photo. It really puts those plants into perspective. Is the photo of the "Okeefenokee Giant Pitcher Plants" or just the usual variety?
I am considering installing 4-6" diameter lodge pine stakes vertically along the front edge of my water garden, each about 4" to 8" high and buried about 6-8" into the ground with a rock and some gravel underneath to aid in good drainage. They are pressure treated and were previously used in a vineyard. Some do have some wide vertical cracks along lengthwise.
I will have to cut each piece and seal the cuts.
What is the best protective coating I can apply to the buried portion of each stake for longevity?
I have had pickeral weed in both of my ponds and the fish love to hide under them and nibble at the roots. I got mine from along a lake edge here in Clermont. Both of my ponds have waterfalls and there is a lot of water movement and they just float around from sun to shade and back.
I had horsetail rush and it broke a ceramic pot in the pond it grew so big. Planted some in one garden bed and it took over so it went to the garbage man.
I try invasives and if I can cut roots back and control them I keep them. Another way is to put dirt inside of a piece of weed barrier fabric under ground and plant in that. Usually keeps them from spreading. I also have black magic taro down in my pond which is not recommended around fish but none of mine have gotton sick from it yet and its been in for over a year.
I have one butterfly koi pond and one goldfish pond. Really enjoy my fish even tho I have some sad stories regarding desease. Only been a ponder for 4 years so still have a lot to learn but its sure fun.
Dax, your stream is lovely and I'm sure you enjoy it. We built our ponds ourselves. Husb does plumbing and electrical and I do the digging some with a bucket on my little Kubota tractor but unescapable is the shovel work. I'm 75 and I tell folks who thing I'm crazy thats what keeps me
young and dreaming. Right now we are bldg. a little fish shack over top of waterfalls on new pond we just completed. Going to thatch roof w/cedar shakes. I have a strong air staple gun that will do it in no time.
Enjoy your plants and water gardens all.
Check out Texas Water Lilies web site it is a wealth of info.
Here is their Marginals page. It will give you a lot of ideas for Marginals http://texaswaterlilies.com/Marginalsorderpage.html
Some of what I have are corkscrew rush, Justicia America, large white calla lily, bloody dock, variegated chameleon,purple pickerel, lance leaf Sagittaria, Sweet Flag, Creeping Jenny (2 varieties),Variegated Iris, Water Celery, horse tail rush, mini cattails, Obedient Plant ( I call this Dis-obedient plant), Cardinal Flower, Fiber Optics grass, pitcher plants. Plus several cannas and Tarros. Quite a few of these are just planted in my gardens and I didn't realize that they could be used in ponds until I saw them listed as Marginals on this site or saw them growing in a local nursery's water plant section.
I don't know if anyone has suggested this yet, but I have corkscrew rush in a very wet area of my garden. I just divided it and put some in my pond, in a clay pot submerged about 4 inches. I hope that works. It's a real conversation piece.
Yes corkscrew rush does very well, I have one in a pot in my pond submerged to the pot rim. There are several grasses that will do well in wet areas. I had Fiber Optic Grass last year it looked very nice.
Also if your looking for something unusuall look for Mimosa Pudica. The leaves on this plant fold up when you touch them. I grew them a few years ago and I would spend hours playing with the leaves. They thrive in moist boggy soils. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLTcVNyOhUc
We have had the Corkscrew rush in the bog all winter for several years and it doesn't really seem to affect it My fiber optics grass comes back every year as well. However DH wants to put in new Fiber Optics every year because that one seems to start slowly.
Pitcher plants are pretty picky about soil and water. They wont grow in "normal" soil and will die if given water with dissolved minerals. I give mine distilled, RO or rain. No city and most wells are bad news for them. As for soil, they need an acidity medium without nutrients.
newtonsthirdlaw wrote:Pitcher plants are pretty picky about soil and water. They wont grow in "normal" soil and will die if given water with dissolved minerals. I give mine distilled, RO or rain. No city and most wells are bad news for them. As for soil, they need an acidity medium without nutrients.
Peat moss works. Provides the acidity the pitchers like. Make sure the peat is at least 1/2 an inch below the water line so the peat can soak the water up.
On another water gardening forum I'm on we got to discussing a similar thread on making a bog garden. Here's what we came up with, first do you have a pressurized bio filter with a backflush mechanism? What I've heard works is to take the backflush line and run it to the floor of the bog bed. If the bog is connected to the pond this works best. The backflush sludge is pumped to the pebble bed below the bog. The decaying organic matter provides the nutrients for the plants to thrive while at the same time the pond doesn't lose water. I don't have a bio filter but I have my water feed to the header of my water course run under the pebble bed. The organic matter ends up there where it helps feed the plants. And the plants are happy and thriving.