Use rainwater to your advantage by growing pretty plants that will appreciate the extra moisture that drains off your roof.

By BH&G Garden Editors
Updated November 16, 2020
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Downspouts have a knack for drenching their surroundings whenever it rains. This can make the soil too soggy for many types of plants, but you can still enjoy plenty of colorful perennials that will thrive in the extra moisture. This problem-solving garden plan relies on tall joe-pye weed to grab attention away from the downspout itself. Then, pink turtlehead, dwarf sweetflag, and lobelia camouflage the area around the opening to help it blend into the landscape. This garden will do best on the east, west, or north side of a building; a southern exposure may be too hot, or dry out too quickly.

downspout rain garden plan
Credit: Illustration by Mavis Augustine Torke

Plants for Creating the Downspout Garden Plan

  • 1 Joe-Pye weed (Eutrochium purpureum): Zones 4-8
  • 2 Pink turtlehead (Chelone lyonii 'Hot Lips'): Zones 3-7
  • 5 Dwarf sweetflag (Acorus gramineus 'Variegatus'): Zones 5-8
  • 3 Great blue lobelia (Lobelia siphilitica): Zones 5-9

If you aren't able to find the exact varieties listed above, substitute with others that have similar colors, shapes, and sizes. And because some plants can become overly aggressive and spread out of control in certain climates, always check which species are considered invasive in your area before planting.

Get the Free Downspout Garden Plan

The garden plan for this design includes an illustrated version of the planted garden, a detailed layout diagram, a list of plants for the garden as shown, and complete instructions for installing the garden. Free, one-time registration allows unlimited access to all garden plans, available as printable PDFs.

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