Have Wet Soil? No Problem!

by Amanda

Do you have a hard-to-plant area that has poorly-draining soil?

Turn this troublesome spot into a colorful landscape feature by planting Perennials and Bulbs that thrive in wet soil. Whether you have an area with runoff from a roof or an area next to a body of water, there are plenty of options for you to turn this into a gorgeous focal point of your garden!

Perennials That Thrive in Wet Soil

There are several varieties of perennials that not only tolerate wet soil but also create a burst of color all season long, year after year in the garden. Siberian Irises are one of the easiest Iris to grow and are extremely hardy, making them a dependable plant for any wet spot.

Bonus: These exquisite Irises also attract butterflies to the garden!

  1. Lamium White Nancy, Lamium maculatum, Dead Nettle

    White Nancy is a mat forming flowering groundcover for shady areas. Use with hostas and other shade lovers. (Lamium maculatum)...

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    White Nancy Lamium White Nancy Dead Nettle Lamium maculatum White Nancy
    As low as $9.98 Sale $6.49
    Per Plant - 3" Pot
    White Nancy is a mat forming flowering groundcover for shady areas. Use with hostas and other shade lovers. (Lamium maculatum)
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  2. White Trillium, Trillium grandiflorum, Wake-Robin

    White Trillium opens exquisite white blooms up to 5” across in mid-spring. Flowers fade to a pretty pale pink. This woodland wildflower requires patience but is well worth the wa...

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    White Trillium White Wake Robin, Wood Lily Trillium grandiflorum
    As low as $18.98 Sale $12.34
    Per Bag of 3
    White Trillium opens exquisite white blooms up to 5” across in mid-spring. Flowers fade to a pretty pale pink. This woodland wildflower requires patience but is well worth the wait. Seeds produced by the plants and underground roots and will spread slowly into drifts of trillium that look like a white blanket covering the ground. (Trillium grandiflorum)
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  3. Blue Virginia Bluebells, Mertensia virginica

    Virginia Bluebell’s gorgeous flowers start out as lovely, pastel pink buds and open up into vivid, true blue blooms. A perfect addition to part and full-shade woodland gardens, pla...

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    Virginia Bluebells Virginia Bluebells Mertensia virginica
    As low as $18.98 Sale $12.34
    Per Bag of 3
    Virginia Bluebell’s gorgeous flowers start out as lovely, pastel pink buds and open up into vivid, true blue blooms. A perfect addition to part and full-shade woodland gardens, plant Virginia Bluebells to see early spring blooms and frequent visits from pollinators. This native plant increases in size each year and will form a beautiful colony over time with almost no care from the gardener. (Mertensia virginica)
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  4. Hepatica acutiloba

    One of springs earliest woodland wildflowers, and always considered one of the most beautiful, native Hepatica is quite common in eastern forests. The blooms vary dramatically in col...

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    Hepatica Hepatica, Liverwort Hepatica acutiloba
    As low as $18.98 Sale $12.34
    Per Bag of 3
    One of springs earliest woodland wildflowers, and always considered one of the most beautiful, native Hepatica is quite common in eastern forests. The blooms vary dramatically in color, and range from white to lavender to (rarely) pink. Growing from 4 to 6" in height, lovely Hepatcia will spread and naturalize over time in most soils with dappled sunlight. (Hepatica acutiloba)
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Additional Moisture-loving Perennials

  • Ligularia The Rocket is a great choice for moist, shady gardens and illuminates with bright yellow flower spikes that attract hummingbirds.
  • Spiderworts are hybridized from a wildflower with the wild form of this unique three-petaled flower usually purple. The foliage is lily-like, forming a clump of glossy green. They naturally grow along streams, so give them plenty of water and some shade.
  • Hydrangeas are famous for their large, ball-shaped blooms that add elegance and charm to the summer garden. They can also be planted in wet soil.
  • Hardy Hibiscus are extremely easy to grow. All they ask for is full sun, decent soil, and some pruning once in a while. They leaf out very late in spring, so don't think they're dead and chop them down. Be patient, and in a few weeks you'll have attractive foliage and soon thereafter a summer full of spectacular blooms that attract hummingbirds and butterflies.

Bulbs that Thrive in Wet Soil

Many Summer-Blooming Bulbs tolerate wet soil and add unique, gorgeous color and foliage to the garden. If you're in an area that doesn't receive frost, these bulbs will act as perennials. However, if you receive hard frost during your cold months, you'll want to dig them up for the winter.

Learn more about how to store your bulbs over the winter

Elephant Ear Bulbs create a dramatic, whimsical look both planted in the garden and in containers. Huge, unique foliage is beautiful on its own or planted as a backdrop for your favorite blooms.

Canna Lily Bulbs ignite the late season garden with huge, boldly-colored blooms that last for weeks and weeks. These beauties are also extremely easy to grow.

Calla Lily Bulbs are another gorgeous choice, thriving in wet soil and creating an elegant statement both in the garden and cut for summer bouquets.

  1. Yucatan Princess Elephant Ear, Alocasia sarawakensis Yucatan Princess

    Soaring up to eight feet tall, ‘Yucatan Princess’ Elephant Ears has gigantic deep green leaves fanning over dark stems. Broad, puckered foliage boasts a glossy sheen and...

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    Yucatan Princess Elephant Ear Yucatan Princess Elephant Ear PPAF Alocasia sarawakensis Yucatan Princess PPAF
    $29.98 Sale $19.49
    Per Plant - 3.5" Pot
    Soaring up to eight feet tall, ‘Yucatan Princess’ Elephant Ears has gigantic deep green leaves fanning over dark stems. Broad, puckered foliage boasts a glossy sheen and chocolaty undersides. This tropical plant displays a remarkable depth of color and adds unique structure to the garden, to make a statement alone, or to contrast plants with bright blooms. Plant as a specimen in the garden or containers for lush foliage and dramatic impact the first season. (Alocasia sarawakensis)
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  2. Hawaiian Punch Elephant Ear, Colocasia esculenta Hawaiian Punch

    ‘Hawaiian Punch’ Elephant Ears is a gorgeous cultivar with deep burgundy stems and veining, with light green, arrow-shaped leaves. If you’re thinking of dabbling in the delight...

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    Hawaiian Punch Elephant Ear Hawaiian Punch Elephant Ear PP#24596 Colocasia esculenta Hawaiian Punch PP#24596
    $34.98 Sale $22.74
    Per Bag of 1
    ‘Hawaiian Punch’ Elephant Ears is a gorgeous cultivar with deep burgundy stems and veining, with light green, arrow-shaped leaves. If you’re thinking of dabbling in the delights of tropical foliage, but want something a relatively compact, ‘Hawaiian Punch’ Elephant Ears is a terrific choice for your containers or garden beds. This deer-resistant plant will give your garden months of foliage color in full sun or part-shade. (Colocasia esculenta)
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  3. Summer Hyacinth, Galtonia candicans

    The nodding white bells of Summer Hyacinth add a simple elegance to your late summer garden. These stunning vertical accents can carry up to thirty fresh white flowers, each one ting...

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    Summer Hyacinth Summer Hyacinth Galtonia candicans
    $17.98 Sale $11.69
    Per Bag of 12
    The nodding white bells of Summer Hyacinth add a simple elegance to your late summer garden. These stunning vertical accents can carry up to thirty fresh white flowers, each one tinged with a hint of green near the base of the petals above strong green leaves. Lightly fragrant flowers are deer-resistant and extremely attractive to bees and other pollinators, while making for lovely cut flowers. (Galtonia)
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  4. Tropicalismo Shade Collection

    Our Tropicalismo Shade Collection will transform your garden with rich, textural, foliage. Layers of tropical greens have white and pink highlights and deep purple shading. Caladiums...

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    Tropicalismo Shade Collection Elephant Ear & Caladium Colocasia & Caladium
    $85.92 Sale $55.85
    Per Collection of 8
    Our Tropicalismo Shade Collection will transform your garden with rich, textural, foliage. Layers of tropical greens have white and pink highlights and deep purple shading. Caladiums and Elephant Ears (Colocasia) range from 12” to 60” tall, creating a perfectly graduated display in gardens or containers. Plant this easy-to-grow collection as a backdrop for bright flowers, or create a lush living wall that’s deer-resistant and rabbit-resistant. Collection of 8 bulbs.
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This season, turn that poorly-draining spot on your property into the fabulous garden that it deserves to be! What experience do you have planting in wet soil?

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