Top 9 Plants for Wet Areas Recommended by Garden Experts

Many native and naturalized plants have evolved to flourish in damp soil, making them ideal landscaping options for regions with poor drainage.

They’ll grow in places where few other plants will, and they’ll absorb water runoff. Here are 9 plants for wet areas that experts recommend:

  1. Winterberry
  2. Horsetail
  3. Blue flag iris
  4. Hydrangeas
  5. Leopard plants
  6. Arrowwood viburnum
  7. Royal fern
  8. Elephant’s ear
  9. Marsh marigold

Read our article to know more about them.

Aqsa Tabassam from Garden Guide Post


Winterberry grows as a shrub that can bear fruit if you also grow an opposite-sex plant next to it. They are very suitable to grow in wet areas and have a natural adaptation to swampy regions.

They have a natural resistance to dry soils and prosper best in wetland areas with acidic soil. To make sure these plants grow well and bear fruit, plant them in a sunny spot and always keep their soil wet.


Horsetail is a bamboo-like plant that can grow up to four feet in height and spreads wide wherever it is grown.

It is an evergreen plant that grows along the coasts of water bodies and marshes. It is most suited to grow in standing water but can also grow inconsistent wet soil.

To take care of this plant, you just need to keep its soil moist. You don’t have to worry about sunlight since it can grow equally well in light and shade.

John Valentino from John & Bob’s

Blue flag iris

Many irises will do well in wet soil, but one of the best options is the blue flag iris (Iris Versicolor).

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It’s native to marshes, riverbanks, and shorelines, which means you can plant them in wet areas and even spots with a bit of standing water.

Blue flag irises are easy to look after, but they need sunlight to thrive, so choose a spot either in full sun or only partially shady.

They’ll grow to around two or three feet tall and can spread quite quickly and become crowded.

To keep them under control, you can divide the plant about every three years or so before they finish flowering.


Hydrangeas are easy to grow, and they thrive in wet soil conditions. They need quite a bit of space and prefer partly shady spots. But they can grow in full sun just as long as the soil doesn’t dry out during the summer.

Before planting them in the ground, you need to prepare the soil with compost and fertilizer to help with nutrient and water retention. And mulching around the plants with bark in the spring will also help keep the soil moist enough.

Hydrangeas will bloom at different times depending on the type and location, but generally, they will flower throughout the summer. Deadheading the flowers will keep them blooming well into the fall.

Dan Bailey from WikiLawn

Leopard plants

Leopard plant flowers resemble daisies, so they’re lovely to see in the summer. They come in shades of yellow and orange.

They need tons of water, as you might imagine. If the soil is ever dry, they will suffer for it. Your best bet is to plant them on the edge of ponds or water features.

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Arrowwood viburnum

Arrowwood blooms with a white flower in early spring. They’re lovely, the shape of them somewhat resembling some species of carnations.

They also produce berries that attract birds. And the leaves turn beautiful shades of orange and red in the fall.

Ryan Smith from Ant & Garden Pest Control

Royal fern

Royal ferns are a perfect addition beside your garden pond. With their leaves that spread out, they can bring an air of elegance and improve the overall look of your garden.

This plant requires a bit of space and love for its soil to be consistently damp and fertile. They prefer to be in shady areas, but they can tolerate full sun as long as they are provided with regular water.

Elephant’s ear

The shape of this plant’s leaves resembles that of an elephant’s ear; hence, the name.

Due to the leaves’ enormous size and glossy appearance, the plant can quickly draw someone’s attention.

Although it can grow well in dry soil, this moisture-loving plant tolerates water pretty well and can thrive even in standing water.

Elephant’s ear plant likes the sun, but be careful and make sure to provide afternoon shade. Continuous exposure to full sun can damage the leaves of this plant.

Marsh marigold

Marsh marigolds love moisture and are often found in swamps, making them perfect for your water garden or pond.

With their bright yellow flowers, marsh marigolds attract butterflies and are a simple way to brighten your yard.

What’s great about them is they are low-maintenance and can take care of themselves—only requiring consistently damp soil and part shade to full sun.

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If your garden has many places with inadequate water drainage, it might be tough to deal with because most plants can’t grow in too much wetchoosing. However, by using the right plants, any underperforming garden may be transformed into a lively landscape full of flowers and beautiful grasses.

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Jill Sandy

I am a sustainable focus gardener. I love decorating my home backyard with beautiful landscape design and creative garden care techniques I develop myself.