Gardening for Moist Areas

The majority of garden plants are tolerant of wet soil for short periods of time. It is very natural for many areas to be quite wet in the spring as the ground thaws and the snow melts.

However, garden sites that remain wet throughout the year demand the use of moisture-tolerant or even moisture-dependent species.

The following is a selection of plant material that enjoy wet soil:

Shade Trees

Red Maple   (Acer rubrum and cultivars)

River Birch   (Betula nigra)

Silver Maple   (Acer saccharinum)

Pin Oak   (Quercus palustris)

Alders   (Alnus species)

Willow   (Salix species)

Evergreen Trees

Weeping False Cypress   (Chamaecyparis nootkatensis)

White Cedar    (Thuja occidentalis)

Shrubs

Chokeberry   (Aronia species)

Spice Bush   (Lindera benzoin)

Button Bush   (Cephalanthus)

Pussy Willow   (Salix)

Redtwig Dogwood   (Cornus sericea, C. stolonifera)

Elder    (Sambucus varieties)

Winterberry   (Ilex verticillata)

Witherod   (V iburnum cassinoides)

Ferns

Leather Wood   (Dryopteris marginalis)

Sensitive Fern    (Onoclea sensibilis)

Toothed Wood    (Dryopteris spinufosa)

Cinnamon Fern   (Osmunda cinnamonea)

Marsh Fern   (Dryopteris thelypteris)

Royal Fern   (Osmunda regalis)

Ostrich Fern   (Matteuccia struthiopteris)

Virginian Chain   (Woodwardia virginica)

Hardy Perennials

These plants do not demand boggy soil and are hardy in the regular garden. They are all moisture tolerant and provide greater choice for poolside or boggy plantings.

Monkshood   (Aconitum)

Sweet Flag   (Acorus)

Ajuga   (Ajuga)

Lady’s Mantle   (Alchemilla)

Jack-in-the-Pulpit   (Arisaema triphyllum)

Goat’s Beard   (Aruncus sylvestris)

Wild Ginger   (Asarum canadense)

Astilbe   (Astilbe varieties)

Rodgersia   (Astilboides tabularis)

Masterwort   (Astrantia major)

Quamash   (Camassia quamash)

Cuckoo Flower   (Cardamine pratensis)

Turtle Head   (Chelone)

Snakeroot    (Cimicifuga racemosa)

Spring Beauty   (Claytonia virginica)

Lily-of-the-Valley   (Convallaria majalis)

Bunchberry     (Cornus canadensis)

Kenilworth Ivy    (Cymbalaria muralis)

Bleeding Heart    (Dicentra)

Foxglove   (Digitalis)

Shooting Star   (Dodecatheon meadia)

Yellow Adder’s Tongue   (Erythronium americanum)

Mist Flower    (Eupatorium)

Joe-Pye Weed   (Eupatorium purpureum)

Meadow Sweet   (Filipendula vulgaris)

Queen-of-the-Prairie   (Filipendula rubra (Venusta) Magnifica)

Queen-of-the-Meadow   (Filipendula ulmaria)

Helenium   (Helenium)

Christmas Rose   (Helleborus niger)

Daylily   (Hemerocallis)

Liverwort   (Hepatica)

Giant Hogweed    (Heracleum mantegazzianum)

Dame’s Rocket   (Hesperis matronalis)

Rose Mallow   (Hibiscus palustris (H. Moscheutos))

Hollyhock    (Alcea officinalis)

Golden Seal   (Hydrastis canadensis)

Japanese Poppy   (Hylomecon japonicum)

St. John’s Wort   (Hypericum)

Japanese Iris   (Iris kaempferi)

Iris Laevigata   (Iris laevigata)

Yellow Flag Iris   (Iris pseudacorus)

Blue Flag Iris   (Iris versicolor)

Ligularia   (Ligularia stenocephala The Rocket and other varieties)

Cardinal Flower    (Lobelia)

Lupine   (Lupinus Russell Hybrid)

Maltese Cross   (Lychnis chalcedonica)

Maltese Cross   (Lychnis chalcedonica)

Gipsywort   (Lycopus eurpeaus)

Gooseneck Loosestrife   (Lysimachia clethroides)

Creeping Jenny    (Lysimachia nummularia)

Yellow Loosestrife    (Lysimachia puncata)

Mazus   (Mazus reptans)

Himalayan Blue Poppy   (Meconopsis baileyi (M. Betonicifolia))

Variegated Apple Mint   (Mentha suaveolens variegata)

Bee Balm    (Monarda varieties)

Forget-Me-Not   (Myosotis)

Grass of Parnassus   (Parnassia palustris)

Umbrella Plant   (Peltiphyllum peltatum (Darmera))

Chinese Lantern   (Physalis alkekengi)

May Apple   (Podophyllum peltatum)

Solomon’s Seal   (Polygonatum)

Himalayan Fleeceflower    (Polygonum affine ëDarjeeling Redí)

Primrose    (Primula)

Self Heal   (Prunella grandiflora)

Double Buttercup   (Ranunculus acris ëMultiplexí)

Creeping Buttercup   (Ranunculus repens)

Ornamental Rhubarb   (Rheum palmatum)

Rodgersia   (Rodgersia)

Bloodroot    (Sanguinaria canadensis)

Bouncing Bet   (Saponaria officinalis)

Pitcher Plant   (Sarracenia purpurea)

Solomon’s Plume     (Smilacina)

Golden Wood Poppy   (Stylophorum diphyllum)

Ornamental Comfrey   (Symphytum)

Telekia   (Telekia speciosa (Buphthalmium))

Meadow Rue    (Thalictrum)

Foamflower    (Tiarella cordifolia)

Tovara   (Tovara virginianum)

Spiderwort    (Tradescantia varieties)

Toad Lily   (Tricyrtis hirta)

Snowy Trillium   (Trillium grandiflorum)

Globe Flower    (Trollius)

Bellwort   (Uvularia grandiflora)

Violet   (Violet varieties)