Detailed website with links to detailed plant lists for various regions of the state.
The site recommends using container-grown plants with a well-established root system. It’s fun to sow native wildflower seed, but experience shows that this doesn’t work too well in a rain garden. Flooding, weeds, and garden pests will be hard on your seeds, and the garden will be mostly weeds for the first few years. You can start plants from seeds indoors, grow them for a few months, and then move the plants outdoors. You might be able to get transplants from a gardening friend, or you could participate in a plant rescue where groups dig up plants from construction sites before the heavy equipment moves in. Your rain garden will have a couple of different wetness zones in it. In the deepest part of the garden, you can put plants that withstand a couple of days of flooding at a time. In the shallower parts and on the edges, you can put more typical landscape plants. Website by North Carolina Cooperative Extension.