Skip to main content

Your Basket

Your basket is empty. Continue shopping to add products to your basket.
Back to Articles

Plants for Wet Soil

Having excessively wet soil or poor drainage in your garden can be difficult to manage, and make it tricky to grow in these areas. If your soil is heavily compacted, you live in a region with increased rain, or your garden has a high water table, you may find that water builds up in particular areas, leading to a boggy environment and harsh growing conditions.

There are ways in which you can aid drainage in your garden, such as adding in layers of grit, sand or gravel, or mixing organic matter within the soil. While this may be very affective for targeted areas, it can be unsuccessful for large spaces or in extreme cases of waterlogging.

If this is the case for your garden, you could benefit from planting particular varieties of shrubs or perennials which are well suited to thrive in damp, wet soils! There are a wide variety of plants that grow well in wet soil, a few of our favourites including calla lily, cow slip, lobelia, astilbe, alder and salix.

Benefits to growing plants in wet soil

Improving soil structure - Plants thrive off of water and oxygen, therefore aiding the ground by taking in some of the excess water that builds up. Roots from plants are a great, natural way to help provide stability to the soil, ensuring the excess water does not lead to increased erosion.

Habitat for amphibian wildlife – Plants of all sizes provide the perfect habitat and protection for wildlife living amongst our gardens. Damp soil or excessively wet areas play host to all types of amphibious wildlife, with plants adding in additional protection and increasing biodiversity.


Maintaining plants in wet soil

Like any plant in your garden, those grown in wet soil will still need to be cared for to ensure they thrive. While the area they are growing in has increased water content, meaning you won’t need to water them yourself, it is still recommended to check once every so often. Should you experience an extreme heat spell, you may want to give them a top up of water if the ground is less saturated than normal.

In addition to this, it is important the ground stays well aerated. Taking a long handled hoe or hand fork, gently turn the soil surrounding the plants to add air pockets around the roots. Be careful to not compress the soil after you have turned it, as this will undo all the work you have just done.

Perfect plants for wet soil

Calla Lily - This herbaceous perennial is great for adding a pop of tropical colour to your garden. Found in an array of rich colours, these plants thrive in damp soil with sun or partial shade. Hardy varieties can be seen with large, trumpet shaped flowers surrounded by thick, green leaves. For the best appearance, plant these during spring for a glorious display into summer.

Cow Slip - This early spring flower is a semi-evergreen perennial with distinct yellow, bell shaped flowers atop long, thin stems. Best when grown in full or partial shade, these delicate plants thrive in a moist but well-draining soil. While they look their best throughout spring, you may see some flowers appearing during the winter too.

Lobelia - These half-hardy perennials with their bright blue flowers are popular throughout summer. Found growing naturally in damp soil, these plants are great for areas of your garden that retain moisture well. Most popular varieties of lobelia are compact and upright, however they can be found as trailing varieties too.

Astilbe - Sometimes referred to as false goats beard, astilbe has a feather like appearance in shades or red, pink and white. This plant works great in both borders for a spread of colour, or in pots for a compact and bright display. Their preference is to be planted in a damp area, however can thrive within bog gardens or around ponds too.

Salix - Part of the willow family, salix plants are found primarily in moist soil in a range of colours and sizes. Some varieties are best when grown in large pots, however if planted into garden borders, can grow into full trees. The most popular variety of salix is the weeping willow with its long, sweeping branches, or the flamingo willow bursting with vibrant red leaves.