Although it’s not too late to add warm-season flowering plants to the landscape, it’s important to be sure to know the drainage when you plant.
“We always tell people to plant bedding plants in well-prepared, well-drained beds,” says LSU AgCenter horticulturist Dan Gill. But because of occasional heavy rains, we have to be careful where we plant, Gill says.
Ninety percent of what we grow needs good drainage, but some plants tolerate less-than-ideal drainage or even boggy or soggy soil. If you have a low area in your landscape that tends to stay wet, there are wonderful plants for those areas. There are also excellent choices for rain gardens, a real trend these days.
One place to start is with a Luna hibiscus, which has really large flowers and blooms all summer. These plants will grow in boggy soil and even some standing water or in regular beds as well, Gill says.
“Luna hibiscuses get to be about 3 feet tall and 3 feet wide,” Gill says. “They’re just lovely in the landscape.”
Another gorgeous textural plant to consider is papyrus.
“The papyrus that you read about in Egypt in the Bible — this is the same plant,” says Gill, adding that it’s a wonderful plant for boggy areas as well.
Finally, Gill suggests the cardinal flower, which is derived from native species. It’s a beautiful plant for growing in wet areas.
Cardinal flower gets to be about 2- to 3-feet tall with gorgeous red flowers and is highly attractive to hummingbirds.
“If you have a low, poorly drained area, a boggy area or a rain garden, then consider planting the beautiful Luna hibiscus, gorgeous papyrus for texture and bright red cardinal flowers,” Gill says. “They’re wonderful plants for your landscape.”
Got a gardening question? Write to GardenNews@agcenter.lsu.edu.