Plants That Like To Be In Water: Types Of Plants That Tolerate Wet Areas

water plants
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By Mary H. Dyer, Master Naturalist and Master Gardener

Most plants don’t do well in soggy soil, and excessive moisture results in rot and other deadly diseases. Although very few plants grow in wet areas, you can learn which plants like wet feet. Some moisture loving plants thrive in standing water and others tolerate soggy, poorly drained areas of your garden. Read on to learn more about these plants.

Plants That Tolerate Wet Areas

Here are just some plants that can take moist conditions.

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Water tolerant perennials and bulbs include:

Certain grasses add beauty and texture to damp areas. For example, the following grasses perform well in moist soil:

If you’re looking for a vine or a ground cover for a damp area, keep in mind that most vines and ground covers require some drainage and don’t perform well in areas that are flooded or consistently wet. That being said, these plants are worth a try:

Plants That Like to Be in Water

There are a number of plants that can withstand long periods with wet feet. These make good additions to garden ponds, bogs, rain gardens or just those difficult areas of the landscape that stay too wet for planting anything else.

Perennial plants that tolerate standing water and flooded areas include:

Many ferns tolerate wet areas and thrive at the edge of ponds, including:

However, don’t assume that all ferns like wet feet. Some types, such as Christmas fern and wood fern, prefer dry, shady areas.

In addition to the ornamental grasses that tolerate moist conditions previously listed, muhly grass enjoys damp soil and pond edges. Most types of sedge do well in wet, sandy soil. Sedge is available in a variety of sizes, forms and colors.

Keep in mind that soil moisture is only one thing to consider when choosing plants for wet areas. Other important factors include light, soil type and temperature hardiness. A local greenhouse or nursery can provide information about specific water tolerant plants for your area.

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