Woody shrubs in stormwater practices can reduce maintenance while adding aesthetics and functionality.
Planted stormwater retention and infiltration practices are important for reducing runoff and maximizing green space in urban areas. While a wide variety of herbaceous plants such as Soft Rush (Juncus effusus), Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata), and Joe-Pye Weed (Eutrochium spp., formerly Eupatorium spp.) are often successfully used in these spaces, they can present maintenance issues because of the need to annually cut back dead foliage and stems. Utilizing woody plants decreases the need for additional seasonal maintenance while successfully adding aesthetic and functional vegetation to stormwater retention practices. (2013) By Dr. Nina Bassuk and Ethan Dropkin, Cornell University Department of Horticulture.