Q. Can you recommend books and websites to help me landscape rain gardens and bio-infiltration basins?

I'd like to use plants native to Pennsylvania.


See our subject guide on Rain Gardens, with recommended books and web sites and even a Rain Garden app for smartphones.  This subject guide is geared toward the homeowner and residential landscapes, but the designs could work in civic and commercial landscapes as well. 

Also, see our subject guide on Stormwater Management.

This guide gathers together a number of project profiles and resources  on various stormwater management projects in municipalities across the U.S., including bioretention projects and rain gardens. 

As for recommended plants,

Penn State Extension puts out lists of native  plants suggested for Pennsylvania rain gardens

Note that  their Zone 1, 2 and 3  plants refer to the “zones” of the rain garden, wet, middle and transition – not “hardiness” zones.  

Rutgers puts out a Rain Garden Manual for New Jersey broken up into several pdf files

New Jersey and this area of Pennsylvania share similar climatic conditions and hardiness zones (5 through 7) and soil types, with the exception of Jersey shore. That said, the recommended plants for rain gardens  listed in the appendix are worth a look for you.

University of Delaware Cooperative Extension has a rain garden page with plant lists (DE has growing conditions similare to Southeastern Pennsylvania).

The books listed in the Rain Garden subject guides  are general in scope but many of the plants would grow here in the Mid-Atlantic. You can always cross check the plants by looking them up in reliable online sources such as Missouri Botanical Gardens Plant Finder pages

Look for plants hardy in zones 5-7 and note other salient characteristics such as light and water requirements, height and spread of plant, etc.

  • Last Updated Jan 08, 2019
  • Views 39
  • Answered By Janet Evans

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