Wetland Shrub Plants – How To Grow Shrubs In Wetlands

Pink Flowered Shrubs
wetland shrub
(Image credit: cergeus)

For wetland areas in your garden, you may need some ideas on what will thrive in soggy ground. Native flowers, water-loving perennials, and trees that tolerate wet ground are great, but consider shrubs too. Choosing shrubs that grow in wetlands will enhance the space by adding texture, height, and visual interest.

Growing Shrubs in Wetlands

Wetland shrub plants include those that are native to certain marshy areas and those that simply tolerate wet soil better than others. For the best results in your boggy yard or garden, choose species native to your area.

Whether you have a bog, marsh, wetlands area, creek, or just a low-lying area that collects a lot of water, you have to choose plants carefully. Most shrubs will rot and die in marshy ground. In addition to choosing the right shrubs for wet areas, make sure the plants you use are matched to the amount of sun available and the type and nutrient content of the soil.

Examples of Shrubs for Wetland Sites

Shrubs that can thrive in your marshy areas, both native and non, include:

  • Chokeberry - Chokeberry is a wetland shrub that can tolerate some shade.
  • Buttonbush - Buttonbush is a native species found typically along streams.
  • Dogwood - Several types of dogwood grow in wet soil including silky and redosier.
  • Inkberry - An evergreen option is the inkberry shrub.
  • Spicebush - Spicebush is notably a host plant for the spicebush swallowtail butterfly larvae.
  • High-Tide Bush - Native to the Atlantic coast and tolerates salt. Try high-tide bush for brackish or nearby ocean areas. 
  • Potentilla - Potentilla is a native shrub that grows in boggy soil.
  • Pussy Willow - A wet tolerant shrub that produces characteristic fuzzy catkins in spring. The catkins of pussy willow can be used in cut flower arrangements. 
  • Purple Osier Willow - This type of willow is a shrub, rather than a tree. Purple osier willow can be used along streams to prevent erosion.
Mary Ellen Ellis

Mary Ellen Ellis has been gardening for over 20 years. With degrees in Chemistry and Biology, Mary Ellen's specialties are flowers, native plants, and herbs.