Got Soggy Soil? Grow Your Plants Above the Ground

Do you have a spot in your landscape that looks a little like this one?  Many of us have an

Wet Soil Dead Plant

Do you have a spot in your landscape that looks a little like this one?  Many of us have an area where despite our best efforts, whatever we plant – dies.

In this area, the problem is that despite the homeowner’s best efforts, every plant he tries to grow in this spot dies.  Just a few feet away, there are healthy plants growing.  So why do plants keep dying in this little spot?  It turns out that this area gets all the runoff when it rains, which saturates the soil and suffocates the plant’s roots.  In short – the plants keep drowning.

You may be surprised to discover that more plants die from over-watering then under-watering.  Plants need oxygen to grow, which is present in the tiny spaces between soil particles.  When there is too much water in the soil, the water replaces the oxygen and the plant drowns.

Do you have an area like this in your garden?  Is there anything you can do to keep plants from drowning?

arborvitae container

A simple solution is to place a container in this spot, which keeps the plant’s roots out of the wet soil.

Potted Heavenly Bamboo

Many shrubs do great in pots like this Heavenly Bamboo.


If you live in an area high amounts of rainfall, it can be hard to grow succulents, which need well-drained soil.  Try growing them in containers  using a potting soil formulated for succulents.  Excess water should drain right out of the container.

annuals container

Containers filled with annuals are a great way to add color to an area with soggy soil.

So, if you have wet soil where nothing seems to grow, don’t despair.  Simply plant your favorite shrub, perennial or annuals out of the soil in a container.

Need ideas of what to plant in your container?  Check out Birds & Blooms article, “Top 10 Flowering Shrubs”.

Noelle Johnson
Noelle Johnson is a horticulturist and certified arborist who lives and gardens in the desert Southwest. When she is not writing or helping other people with their gardens, you can find her growing fruits and vegetables, and planting flowering shrubs and maybe a cactus or two.