15 Plants That Like Wet Soil

 15 Plants That Love Wet Ground And Watery Conditions

I live in an area that receives 46 inches of rain and 108 inches of snow annually, which results in heavy soil. I learned a lot of tricks to creating a thriving garden by finding plants that love to grow in wetlands!

Water-loving garden plants and ground covers for overwintering areas include chalk, hosta, daylily, foamflower, Siberian iris and creeping leprechaun. In a tropical garden, violets, medium hair fern, sedge, Asian jasmine, and horsetail love to have their feet wet.

1. The Hostas 

Hostas are best grown in a shady area because of their gorgeous foliage and rugged nature. They are very moisture tolerant but can cause significant damage to the delicate clumps of delicate varieties. Choose a variety such as 'Sour Pumpkin' to prevent slugs and snails from damaging the leaves.

Hostas can be found in many sizes to accommodate almost any garden space and are an excellent choice for northern gardeners. They do not tolerate direct sunlight or hot conditions.

Tips for growing hostas

Hostas prefer shade to partial shade environments.
Choose a variety with thick leaves to prevent slug damage.
Plant in soil with a pH of 6.5-7.5.

2. Daylily

The daylily attracts butterflies and produces many flowers. Some cultivars are re-blooming and will produce flowers throughout the growing season.

An excellent choice for wet gardens, these plants are lovely along the edge of a pond or bog area.

Tips for growing daylilies

Grow in full sun to partial shade.
Space plants 12 to 18 inches apart.
Divide daylily plants every 4-5 years to encourage abundant blooms.
In northern areas, plant daylilies in the springtime.

3. Siberian iris

Smaller than the popular beard's iris, the Siberian iris loves water. Although its pretty flowers appear in early spring, its sword-like leaves command interest throughout the growing season.

For a lovely water garden, plant near pond borders or damp garden areas. These plants are pest resistant and rarely need division.

Tips for growing Siberian iris

Plant in full sun to partial shade.
Space stations 18 to 24 apart.
Flowering may take 2-3 years after planting.
Plant in a spacious pond basket for growing inside an ornamental pond.

4. Foam flower

An excellent choice for a moist, shady spot, foamflower is an attractive wildflower that produces flowers from spring through early summer.

This plant is easier to grow from runners or sections collected from existing plants, although it can also be grown from seed. This native plant is an excellent choice for growing in a bushy garden.

Tips for growing foam flowers

Foamflower prefers shade but will grow in a partly sunny environment.
The soil should be acidic (pH 5.0–6.8).
Cork flower plants about 12 inches apart.

5. Creeper Jenny (Minnewort)

Also known as miniwort, this bright green ground cover is evergreen and makes a great addition to rockeries along a path or around a pond. Because this ground cover grows quickly, be sure to plant it only where extensive coverage is required.

This plant is invasive in some areas, so make sure it is not an invasive plant in your gardening area.

Tips for breeding creeping genie

Space young plants about two feet apart.
This ground cover thrives in either sunny or shady conditions.
Pruning is all that is required to prevent the horizontal spread of this plant.

6. Ostrich fern

Another plant native to the Americas, the ostrich fern is a beautiful and graceful plant for shade and moist gardens. This plant is also deer-resistant, making it an excellent choice for woodland gardens or pond edges. This fern can reach 5 inches in height, providing a lovely backdrop for shade-loving flowers.

Tips for growing ostrich fern

Make sure the crown of the plant is at (or slightly above) the soil surface level after planting.
Ostrich fern plant in fall.
Ostrich fern tolerates clay soil.
Make sure the soil is acidic to a neutral pH (5.0-6.5).

7. Marsh Marigold (cause of slipping)

Another shade-loving plant, swamp marigold is a native plant that produces bright yellow flowers in spring. The leaves of the plant are succulent and heart-shaped, which sparks interest throughout the growing season.

These flowers will thrive along stream banks, pond edges, or other moist areas in the garden. Also known as cowslip, it is toxic to humans and animals and should not be eaten.

Tips for growing marigolds

Plants do not flower until three years after germination.
Do not plant near livestock, as the plant is poisonous.
Transplant in the spring after the last frost date.
Prefers acidic soil with a pH of 5.0-6.8.

8. Japanese sage

The variegated foliage and grass-like leaves make Japanese sedge an attractive base for pond edges and other wet areas in the garden. Stagnant areas of standing water should be avoided for this plant, but it thrives in moist soil and full sun.

This plant has become invasive in the northeastern United States and should be avoided in these geographic areas.

Tips for Japanese sage

The plant prefers rich, loamy and moist soil.
Plant in sunny to partly shaded locations.
Protect sage plants from windy areas.
Makes an excellent ground cover under trees and shrubs in wet areas.

9. Turtle Head

Turtles produce snapdragon-like flowers, like to grow in swampy areas and produce bright blooms in summer and early fall. This native plant grows 2 to 3 feet tall and is an excellent choice for swampy woodland areas or pond edges.

Tips for growing a turtle head

Tortoises prefer a neutral soil pH (6.5-7.5).
Plant in full sun to partial shade.
Plant along garden edges to keep deer out of the garden.

10. Southern maidenhair fern

Medianhair fern's lacy foliage makes it an attractive choice for small, damp garden areas. Tucked in foliage around a pond or under trees, this shade fern is a bright addition to any yard. It is deer-resistant and can also function as a ground cover in moist, shady border areas.

Medium Hair Fern Growing Tips

It tolerates soil, but prefers clay soil.
Full transplant in partial shade.
If it's too dry or gets too much sunlight, the fern will go dormant.
Hardy to USDA Zone 7, or 25 degrees Fahrenheit (-4 degrees Celsius).

11. Papyrus

Known to the ancient Egyptians for their ability to make paper, papyrus is a wonderful water-loving plant in hot regions. This plant can be grown in shallow water, which is great for those looking to grow plants in shallow pond areas.

It is sometimes called the umbrella plant because of its showy sprinkling at the top of its stems. It is hardy to USDA Zone 8 and grows from rhizomes.

Papyrus growing tips

It is difficult to grow papyrus from seeds, so it is best to buy plants in a nursery.
Plant in standing or shallow water or in an area that is consistently wet.
If you're planting in USDA zone 8, mulch the plants' roots. If planted in a zone 8 pond, there is a risk that the roots will freeze and the plant may not survive.
Plant in full sun.

12. Copper foil

Bronze plant is the star of this tropical plant that grows quickly and forms a clump 3 to 5 feet tall. The plants are salt tolerant and are an excellent choice for coastal gardens in warm climates.

Copperleaf needs constant moisture and should never be allowed to dry out. Snails and slugs love to eat the leaves of this plant, so slug control will be important near planting.

Tips for growing copper leaf

Space plants 3' apart for proper growth.
Copper leaf can be grown in containers.
The plant needs moisture and will not tolerate dry climates.
Plant in full sun.

13. Asian jasmine

This ground cover is not related to the true jasmine but does produce flowers in its native range. In the United States, it rarely blooms with yellow flowers.

The plant develops a woody, vine-like growth that makes an excellent ground cover for shady or sunny areas and prevents weed growth. It is very durable and will tolerate high humidity and drought.

Plants in soil that have been in the water for an extended period of time can rot, so they are not a good choice for a pond.

It should be used as a ground cover in areas where grass does not grow and in areas where weed control mulching is required. This plant is salt tolerant in coastal areas. Each plant will grow about 3 inches wide by 18 inches tall.

Tips for growing Asian jasmine

Vines should be cut to the ground and trimmed once a year to limit growth.
Plant in full sun or full shade.
apart from the 3' space plants.

14. Taro

Taro is native to Southeast Asia and loves to have wet feet. It is also possible to grow taro in a 5 gallon bucket! The plant has various applications in the garden and the tubers are mashed to produce poi. The plant will not die back in USDA Zones 10 and above, but will go dormant in Zones 8 and 9.

Elephant's ear is a type of taro grown for ornamental purposes. This variety has very large leaves and is grown as an annual in northern locations. In the tropics, it will live up to 15 years.

Tips for growing taro

Plant in grooves, 6 inches apart and covered with 3 inches of soil.
Do not plant taro along wild waterways, as it may escape and become invasive.
Taro needs full sun.
Edible taro leaves will turn yellow and die when the tubers are ready to be harvested, about 200 days after planting.

15. Banana lily

The tropical foliage and pretty flowers are the masterpiece of this water-loving plant. Although canna lilies are not suitable for indoor cultivation, they thrive in areas with wet soil conditions and areas such as swamps. They can be grown as annuals in northern climates but are hardy in Zones 9-10.

Tips for growing banana lilies

Plant canna lilies in the spring after the danger of frost has passed.
Space plants 2-3' apart.
Use a fertilizer high in phosphate to encourage flowering.
Plant in rich, loamy soil.

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