Plants for Soggy Soil


Most of us know that too little water can be a problem for our gardens, but we’ve probably given less thought to the problem of too much.

But is it problem or opportunity?

That damp or boggy section of your garden might be a problem in need of a solution: perhaps a French drain or raised beds. But perhaps all it needs is the right plants.

As the garden writer Beth Chatto famously said,

Right plant, right place.

That simple phrase rocked the gardening world because it turned so much gardening practice on its head. Rather than attempting to change the conditions they’d been given, Chatto insisted, good gardeners should study their garden and choose the right plants for the conditions they had.

If that’s the approach you’re determined to take, here are some trees, shrubs, and perennials that don’t mind having “wet feet”:


  • River Birch
  • Red maple
  • Weeping willow
  • Sycamore


  • Winterberry
  • Bottlebrush Buckeye
  • Sweet Pepperbush


  • Hardy Hibiscus
  • Black Snakeroot
  • Meadow Rue
  • Bee Balm
  • Siberian iris
  • Japanese iris
  • Astilbe
  • Calla Lilies
  • Canna
  • Elephant’s Ear
  • Joe-pye Weed
  • Phlox
  • Royal fern
  • Ostrich fern
  • Camassia

Finally, is your wet area simply damp or is it completely submerged for days on end?

Keep this question in mind as you choose your plants. Some of these can handle dampness, while others can manage even prolonged submersion.

Explore the entire Black Barn Garden Club Library here.


Posted on

May 11, 2020

1 Comment

  1. kk304

    Thank you, Christie! This is helpful!


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