Wet soils are a challenge for both gardeners and landscape plants alike. Many plants struggle and eventually die in oxygen deprived soil, so choosing the right plants for wet sites is critical. If you’re dismayed at loosing plants over and over in a boggy area, fret not! Here’s our list of plants for wet soils:
Shrubs for Wet Soils
Willow The classic moisture loving plant. Fast growing, whimsical, and tolerant of soupy soil, willows are a great plant for wet soils. Arctic Blue has a bluish leaf. Nishiki features bright white and pink new growth. For larger spaces, a weeping willow tree is a great choice.
Winterberry These bog plants love consistent moisture. Tiny white flowers in spring turn into beautiful red berries for cheerful winter interest. Plant a male and a female near one another to ensure fruiting!
Buttonbush This shrub is named for the unusual flowers that resemble fuzzy buttons. Native and adapted to wet soils, this is a unique and charming choice. Sugar Shack has excellent fall color as well!
Trees for Wet Soils
River Birch Their ability to live in wet soils is right in the name! The gorgeous exfoliating bark on a mature river birch and good resistance to bronze birch borer further add to the appeal of these beautiful trees.
Swamp White Oak A great shade tree for wet sites or low areas. Swamp white oak tolerates clay soils and is an excellent wildlife tree. The ridged bark on a mature swamp white adds unique interest to the landscape.
Hackberry This is one tough tree. Unique corky bark, wildlife supporting fruit, and tolerance of almost any soil condition makes it a standout tree for tough sites. Drought, wind, moisture, salt, and pollution are no match for a hackberry.
Moisture Loving Perennials
Eupatorium Also called Joe-Pye, this plant likes to have wet feet. Whimsical, fluffy pink flowers late in the season are loved by pollinators. Varieties range from 3 to about 6 feet tall.
Swamp Milkweed An excellent butterfly plant for wet soils. The showy pink flowers on this easy care perennial are adored by a variety of pollinators.
Ligularia A graceful addition to the shade garden, Ligularia performs best in moist soil. Also called leopard plant, Ligularia puts on a beautiful show of yellow flowers in mid to late summer. Green and dark leaf varieties are both fantastic.
Lobelia This lovely native adores moist soil and is somewhat flexible in its sun requirements. The tubular flowers are bright and beautiful in red or blue and are attractive to hummingbirds and butterflies.