Best Plants For Shady Wet Areas

If you are considering adding more greenery to a shady wet area in your yard, consider the following plants: Perennials, Grass-like plants, Natives, and Bog-Plants. Shade-loving plants can live with their feet in wet mud and tolerate the lack of sunlight. Read on to learn more about these plants. Once you know which plants grow best in wet areas , you can begin your new shade garden.

Shade gardens

You can create a shady garden using plants that tolerate low light . Choose ferns as a good choice for dry shade as they have thick fibrous roots and can cohabit with most tree roots. Ferns are native to woodland areas and can serve as a cue for selection. Many prefer a moist woodland environment, while others are tolerant of a drier site.

Plants that thrive in shady conditions include summersweet, Virginia sweetspire, astilbe, chokeberry, and piqsqueak. These plants will grow in a shady area but will produce fewer fruits. Other plants that can thrive in moist shade include chokeberry, allspice, and beebalm, which are suited for Zones three to eight.

Athyrium is another shade garden plant that can thrive in wet areas. This plant is a classic example of a fern, with its dramatic carpet of foliage. Athyrium ‘Albomarginata’ is 75 cm high, while the ‘Halcyon’ variety has 30-cm blue leaves. These ferns need a minimum of one foot of space to mature.

Hellebores thrive in wet and damp areas and require little maintenance. These plants need moist, organic soil and are almost deer-proof. Hellebores also have upright flowers that look pretty and cheerful. They may be red, white, or pink, but they will survive in most shady conditions. Adding these plants to your garden is a great way to make it unique and interesting.

Native plants

If you have a shady wet area, you need to consider native plants for this type of location. Whether it’s a naturally wet area or a man-made one, native plants are an excellent choice for such conditions. They typically thrive in moist, slow-draining soils. Many native plants for shady wet areas can tolerate conditions that are too restrictive for other plants.

Native plants that thrive in shady conditions include sweet bay magnolia, sweet bay and arctic fire red twig dogwood. Swamp milkweed, a perennial that grows in damp mud, is another plant to consider. You can also choose red maple (Acer rubrum), weeping willow (Salix babylonica), river birch (Betula nigra), gray’s sedge, and fox sedge.

Other native plants for shady wet areas include Virginia bluebells. These beautiful blooms are native to floodplains, but can grow quite happily in drier areas. The flowers of the Virginia bluebell will attract butterflies to your garden. While they tend to be short-lived, they can be a highlight of your garden in late spring and early summer. Despite their short life span, blue lobelia reseeds readily in moist soils.

Another native plant option for shady wet areas is spring ephemeral. These spring-flowering plants can flower before trees have leafed out and have a brief period of sun before they go dormant. Some of these species also fade away entirely, making them ideal for double-planting with other plants that bloom later in the year. If you are lucky enough to have a shady wet area, you can create a wonderful garden by planting native plants in this area.

Grass-like plants

Grass-like plants are a great choice for wetland landscaping. These plants can line the bank of a stream or river and provide a low-maintenance, attractive border. Grass-like plants are easy to care for and grow in USDA zones 4 through 9.

There are several varieties of grass-like plants that grow in shady wet areas. Native river oats, for instance, are adapted to dry shade and can grow up to 4 feet tall. Golden variegated sweet flag grows to about 15 inches and is best planted in clumps to accent a wet area. Grass-like plants in this type of soil are also very adaptable.

Some grass-like plants for shady wetting areas are tolerant of seasonal soil moisture fluctuations, while others cannot. It’s important to research the plants’ tolerance for water retention and movement before planting them. Some species of grass may be considered invasive or prohibited in certain areas. For example, purple loosestrife originated as a desirable landscape plant and has since spread into natural habitat areas. So, it’s best to check local recommendations before deciding on which grass to plant.

Grass-like plants for a shady wet area can add color to a garden. Creeping lilyturf and Northern Sea Oats are two examples of grasses that can thrive in shade. Depending on the variety, these plants can be different lengths, thicknesses, and colors. Also, consider planting Greater Wood Rush, an evergreen shrub perennial that exhibits grass-like characteristics. These plants produce beautiful, brown flowerheads in late spring.


If your yard has damp, moist soil, consider planting one of these hardy hibiscus. Known for its showy foliage, these plants are well-suited for shady wet areas. In addition, they produce huge blooms in midsummer. This low-growing perennial is best planted in fall, as it has the time to establish its roots before summer arrives. The dark green leaves of this plant are ideal for bringing brightness to boggy areas.

Whether you’re planting a sunny border or a moist shady garden, turtlehead is a perennial worth considering. This plant is native to eastern North America and is hardy to Zone 3. Its rosy flowers attract butterflies, and its spreads to form a clump. Not only does it add height to your garden, but it anchors smaller perennial flowers.

Giant elephant ears are hardy native perennials that add a tropical touch to moist landscapes. They grow to be a few feet tall and wide, and bear fragrant mauve flowers. They need constant moisture to thrive, and they will die back if temperatures drop below 45 degrees Fahrenheit. Giant elephant ears will need regular feeding, and will reward you with a dazzling display of flowers in the spring.

Plants in damp, shady conditions can be aggressively spread. They may be prohibited or invasive in some regions. For example, purple loosestrife started as a landscape plant, but soon spread and invaded natural habitat areas. For this reason, it’s important to check local restrictions before planting a particular plant in a damp area. Also, consider how invasive certain plants may be, as they may be.

Acidic soil

The soil in your shade garden can be challenging to grow in because it is acidic. The pH level of the soil indicates the acidity. In an acidic soil, plants grow poorly because they cannot take up the necessary nutrients. A good solution for this problem is to add wood ashes or lime. This article will give you some ideas for a simple garden and give you sample plans for several situations.

Native to North America and Western Australia, the tree fern is ideal for shady wet areas. Giant chain ferns are native to Southern California and British Columbia. Maidenhair ferns are native to Asia. Planting them in a shaded wet area in your yard will improve the appearance and quality of your space. And if you want to add a bit of color to your shady wet area, you can choose one of several flowering plants .

Begonias also love acidic soil and are excellent plants for this area of your yard. They are often grown as annuals in the home or for the garden. Although most begonias are grown for their vibrant flowers, some gardeners prefer rarer varieties with impressive foliage. Whatever type you choose, begonias have similar requirements. They need full sun exposure and consistent moisture. However, frost is a significant detriment.

Flowering plants

Flowering plants for shady wed areas aren’t limited to perennials. Climbing hydrangeas and astilbes thrive in damp soil, while English Bluebells, Snowdrops, and Cyclamens are great choices for shady areas. However, you should make sure that you select the right kind of flowering plant for your soil type.

A hibiscus cactus with large leaves is a good choice for part shaded areas . These plants have dramatic leaves and blooms in the late season. Cultivars with daisy-like flowers and lacy foliage do best in shady wet areas. In addition, you can choose miniature versions of these flowers. If you have an existing pond in your garden , try a climbing lily.

Flowering plants for shady wetting areas can tolerate very low light levels . You can choose low-maintenance varieties. Some are tolerant of low light, including ‘Troki Red Wall’ and ‘Tropical’ varieties. In addition to hibiscus, some varieties of Honeysuckle are tolerant of dry shade. They can also handle high levels of soil moisture.

When choosing a plant for shady wet areas, consider the local climate. Some are invasive, which means they’re illegal in your area. For instance, purple loosestrife was originally cultivated as a landscape plant but quickly escaped and invaded areas of its natural habitat. It’s vital to check recommendations before planting anything in a wet area, as you may end up with an unattractive plant.

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