Location – Location – Location

In my college real estate class, they emphasized the phrase, Location, Location, Location.

It’s ironic that the same phrase is useful when planning a garden.

The above picture is a good example of the reddish Lobelia cardinalis, Cardinal Flower, and Swamp Milkweed, Asclepias incarnata. These plants love their wet feet in my tiny pond. Even though they are outside and probably freeze at times, they grow well and seem to live for a number of years in these wet conditions.

On the other side, I have grown the same plants in my normal garden soil, but they don’t seem to last more than three years.

If I don’t have any obvious wet or dry soils, I look for spots which might be wetter or drier because of sun, water, or trees.
Irrigation is another way to keep the soil moist.

Either way all plants need water the first year. I keep an eye on new plants the first year and make sure they get enough water.

Another trick I am doing today is to plant just before rain is predicted.
I am planting today, because it is supposed to rain tomorrow.

Since Monarchs need milkweed for a host plant, I end up planting new Swamp milkweed every year even though I know that it has a short life. Cardinal flower is also a great nectar plant for hummingbirds, so I still plant it in regular garden soil at times just to feed the hummingbirds.

In conclusion, while most plants do well with regular soil and regular water, some have distinct preferences – either wet or dry.
If you know what they like, it helps your plants to stay happy and healthy.

Thanks to DK for this question.

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