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. True Blue Gentian in the garden, Photo Courtesy of Walter's Garden

    Just like its name, this Gentian’s blooms are true, vivid blue with rich, green clumps of foliage. A unique addition to any garden. PP#20433 (Gentiana)...

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    True Blue Gentian True Blue Gentian PP#20443 Gentiana x intermedia True Blue PP#20443
    $21.98 Sale $10.99
    Per Plant - 3" Pot
    Just like its name, this Gentian’s blooms are true, vivid blue with rich, green clumps of foliage. A unique addition to any garden. PP#20433 (Gentiana)
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  2. Purple Miss Kim Korean Lilac, Syringa pubescens subsp. patula Miss Kim close up of purple white flowers

    Extend your Lilac season with this easy-to-grow variety. Miss Kim blooms later than other Lilacs and ignites the senses with an abundance of highly-fragrant, lavender blooms that sof...

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    Miss Kim Korean Lilac Miss Kim Korean Lilac Syringa pubescens subsp. patula Miss Kim
    As low as $29.98 Sale $14.99
    Per Plant - 4" Pot
    Extend your Lilac season with this easy-to-grow variety. Miss Kim blooms later than other Lilacs and ignites the senses with an abundance of highly-fragrant, lavender blooms that soften to pink as they mature. In fall foliage turns a beautiful red-burgundy color adding three season interest to your garden. This compact, rounded shrub is a must have for fragrance, attracting hummingbirds and butterflies. (Syringa pubescens subsp. patula)
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  3. Japanese Sedge Grass Everillo filling out a container planting

    EverColor 'Everillo' Sedge Grass shines with golden foliage that lights up the shade garden. Part of the popular EverColor Series, foliage emerges lime green and shifts to a sunny ye...

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    EverColor® Everillo Sedge Grass Everillo Japanese Sedge Grass PP#21002 Carex oshimensis EverColor® Everillo PP#21002
    As low as $24.98 Sale $12.49
    Per Plant - 3.5" Pot
    EverColor 'Everillo' Sedge Grass shines with golden foliage that lights up the shade garden. Part of the popular EverColor Series, foliage emerges lime green and shifts to a sunny yellow, adding vibrant texture and year-long color to the landscape. A versatile, low-maintenance groundcover or edging plant for wet or dry shade. Perfect for edging woodland pathways and shady planting beds. Add 'Everillo' to containers and window boxes for evergreen color and lush texture. Deer resistant. (Carex oshimensis)
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  4. Ice Ballet Swamp Milkweed, Asclepias incarnata, Photo Credit Darlene Williams

    'Ice Ballet' Swamp Milkweed is a staple of the butterfly garden, providing essential food, nectar and shelter to Monarchs at every life stage. Clouds of fragrant, bright-white blooms...

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    Ice Ballet Swamp Milkweed Swamp Milkweed Ice Ballet Asclepias incarnata Ice Ballet
    As low as $16.98 Sale $8.49
    Per Plant - 3" Pot
    'Ice Ballet' Swamp Milkweed is a staple of the butterfly garden, providing essential food, nectar and shelter to Monarchs at every life stage. Clouds of fragrant, bright-white blooms also attract and support a crowd of other pollinators. While many Swamp Milkweeds make their homes in wetlands, 'Ice Ballet' thrives in drier soils. (Asclepias incarnata)
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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. Rain Lily Bulbs Mix, Zephyranthus mixed colors

    Plant the Rain Lily Mix for gem-like blooms similar to a crocus and enjoy the show when they flower, usually after a heavy rain. Pastel colors, including yellow, pink and white. (Ze...

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    Rain Lily Mix Rain Lily, Fairy Lily Mix Zephyranthes Mix
    $22.98 Sale $11.49
    Per Bag of 25
    Plant the Rain Lily Mix for gem-like blooms similar to a crocus and enjoy the show when they flower, usually after a heavy rain. Pastel colors, including yellow, pink and white. (Zephyranthes)
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  2. Caladium Bulbs Tapestry, Caladium, Fancy Leaf Caladium

    'Tapestry' Caladium is a unique addition to any garden! Gorgeous heart-shaped leaves are deep green with vibrant pink veins and cream-colored centers. A hybrid of the popular Christm...

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    Tapestry Caladium Tapestry Fancy Leaf Caladium Caladium Tapestry
    As low as $16.98 Sale $11.99
    Per Bag of 3
    'Tapestry' Caladium is a unique addition to any garden! Gorgeous heart-shaped leaves are deep green with vibrant pink veins and cream-colored centers. A hybrid of the popular Christmas and Red Flash varieties, this Caladium is easy to grow in outdoor containers, or even inside next to a sunny window. (Caladium)
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  3. Red Gloriosa Lily, Gloriosa rothschildiana

    Gloriosa Lily, also called Fire Lily, is a tropical trailing vine that produces flame-colored blooms. Perfect for growing in a pot or in the garden - just make sure to give it somet...

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    Gloriosa Lily Gloriosa Lily, Glory Lily, Fire Lily Gloriosa superba Rothschildiana
    $28.98 Sale $19.99
    Per Bag of 3
    Gloriosa Lily, also called Fire Lily, is a tropical trailing vine that produces flame-colored blooms. Perfect for growing in a pot or in the garden - just make sure to give it something to climb on! Hardy in zones 8-10. (Gloriosa rothschildiana)
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  4. White Calla Lily Bulb Albomaculata, Zantedeschia, Calla Lily

    The Albomaculata Calla is an elegant white, fluted flower with emerald green leaves that showcase graceful speckles in shades to match their blooms. Complemented by a cigarillo-shape...

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    Albomaculata Calla Lily Albomaculata Calla Lily Zantedeschia Albomaculata
    $14.98 Sale $7.49
    Per Bag of 1
    The Albomaculata Calla is an elegant white, fluted flower with emerald green leaves that showcase graceful speckles in shades to match their blooms. Complemented by a cigarillo-shaped center cone (spadix) in a rich, golden yellow, it's no wonder that this variety is so beloved. At 12-14" tall, plant Albomaculata Callas in full sun (or dappled light if your sun is strong) and expect blooms from mid summer until frost. (Zantedeschia albomaculata)
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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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