Shrubs For Wet Areas

If you have a wet area in your yard, you need to know what shrubs can thrive in that condition. Here are some suggestions: Balsam fir, dwarf hinoki cypress, and Evergreen shrubs. Dwarf hinoki cypress is a good choice for wet soil because of its compact habit. You can find it in USDA plant hardiness zones 3a to 7b.

Evergreen shrubs

Evergreen shrubs for wet areas are a popular choice in the landscape, and some of them are hardy enough to tolerate these conditions. Inkberry, for example, is an attractive, showy shrub native to eastern North America. The flowers are white and persist throughout the year. Its glossy foliage and black berries make it an excellent choice for landscaping in a wetlands area. Inkberry requires very little maintenance, but you should prune it in early spring to shape the shrub.

Some of the most popular evergreens for wet areas are dwarf-grown species such as the Canadian yew, which grows in cooler climates. This species is great for privacy and screening, and is widely grown in USDA plant hardiness zones 3a-7b. Another good choice for wet areas, according to Rutgers Master Gardeners, is dwarf hinoki cypress. It grows well in wet soil, but will not tolerate a continuously wet spot.

If you’re working with a narrow space, a dwarf evergreen shrub for wet areas might be the best choice . Evergreen plants in this category will tolerate moist soil and may even tolerate rain gardens. Japanese maple is a good choice for wet areas, because of its striking foliage and deer resistance. And don’t forget about the dwarf holly, which can grow as high as five feet in the landscape.


A common sweetshrub, C. floridus, grows between 12 and 15 feet tall, and has bright red flowers. The flowers are surrounded by green sepals, which are rarely distinguishable from petals. The plant produces its flowers during the early spring and blooms intermittently throughout the summer. Its fruits are small, leathery brown and wrinkled, and are edible. Sweetshrubs are an excellent choice for wet areas.

These shrubs are widely used in landscapes, because they thrive in wet environments. They produce attractive, fragrant flowers in the spring and early summer. These flowers are usually inconspicuous, and can be thinned and trained to multiple upright stems. They are easy to grow and can be easily transplanted from one location to another. They are easy to grow and prefer moist soil and shade. This plant is an endangered species in Florida.

There are many species of sweetshrubs, but the most common is the Carolina allspice. This native shrub grows between six and nine feet tall and has highly fragrant twigs, leaves, and flowers. Sweetshrub flowers are deep red or maroon and last for a month or more. Some varieties produce orange or yellow flowers. The fruit, urn-shaped, is edible and has a spicy odor.

Balsam fir

The balsam fir is a common plant for wet areas and thrives in the eastern part of its range from Newfoundland and Labrador west to Quebec, and Ontario north to the Peace River Valley in central Alberta. In extreme northern Minnesota, this plant can be found west of Lake-of-the-Woods and further east through central Wisconsin and New York. Its cold hardiness and shallow roots are helpful in growing this species, which is generally intolerant of drought.

Seed fall from balsam fir starts late in August and continues into early November. Seeds will continue to fall throughout the winter and early spring. The seeds are dispersed by wind and rodents. The seed can be spread up to 100 m, but the effective distance is approximately 80 to 200 feet. Once planted, balsam fir can reach heights of up to 50 feet.

This sumptuous evergreen has aromatic branches and needles. This plant provides a rich source of food for some animals, and it also serves as cover for others. White-tailed deer often feed on balsam fir in winter and use the shrubs as yarding areas during severe weather. The resin produced from this plant is used in the manufacture of essential oil and in the preparation of microscope slides.

Hinoki cypress

Once established, hinoki cypress shrubs for damp areas need little care. Watering once a week is recommended for a few weeks until the top two inches of soil dries. Mulch the tree with three to four inches of compost or manure to prevent weeds. You should prune it yearly during the summer months, but do not cut older branches. Hinoki cypress is best grown in large containers and will tolerate containers.

The best time to prune hinoki cypress is during the summer months. The shrub needs consistent moist soil with some shade or full sun. Use pruning shears to prune the stems when they start to fork and break. If you notice that the branches are starting to appear dead, prune them to a point where the new wood is about four inches long. Make sure the stem is sheltered from the prevailing winds.

When planting cypress, prepare the soil to provide drainage. Its top edge should be at least two inches above the ground. If the soil is not well-drained, plant the cypress in a container. If the soil is not well-drained, improve the drainage system or choose a different plant species. Once established, you can plant it in a sunny area.

Tatarian dogwood

The Tatarian dogwood, also called red-twig dogwood, is a beautiful shrub for wet areas. This species grows up to eight feet tall and produces bright red bark. It can be pruned to promote new growth. The yellow-twig variety produces golden bark. Both varieties have a similar climate range and need consistently moist soil. Tatarian dogwoods are not drought-tolerant, so they are best in moist soil.

Tatarian dogwood is a fast-growing medium-sized shrub in wet areas that blooms in the spring and bears white fruit in the winter. While it looks good in both wet and dry areas, it performs best in moist soils that are soaked with water. Its attractive red stems and foliage are also a feature in the winter landscape. Although this shrub requires some watering in wet areas, it’s worth the effort and maintenance.

A shrub for wet areas, Tatarian dogwood is a popular choice for landscapes that need to stay green and maintain moisture. Its foliage is bright and colorful year-round and its winter bark is red. It can be grown in full sun to partial shade, but prefers moist soil. It matures to produce black berries. It grows to between five and 10 feet tall and tolerates standing water.

Pacific ninebark

The Pacific ninebark belongs to the rose family and grows naturally in the Pacific Northwest. This erect shrub grows to about eight feet tall, four to seven feet wide, and has distinctive bark that peels off in long, thin layers. Native American tribes used the bark to make bows for children, and other coastal people made medicinal tea from the peeling branches. In addition to their ornamental qualities, ninebark shrubs are easy to propagate from cuttings or live stakes.

Pacific ninebark shrubs have a dense root system and showy seed heads that bloom during spring. Plant it in rain gardens to soak up storm water. This native to California is also beneficial in wet areas. It is an excellent plant for stabilizing banks, as well as reducing runoff from storm water. You can purchase bare-root plants at Kitsap Conservation District plant sales and they are kept moist in plastic bags for easy transport.

The best way to propagate a ninebark shrub is to collect seeds in the fall and plant them at ground level. If possible, add some perlite or pine bark to the soil before planting. The cuttings should be about half an inch thick, four to six inches long, and have two nodes on them. Make a small cut at one-eighth inch below the top of the node, then lightly press the seeds into the mixture.

Red elderberry

Red elderberry is a woody species that pioneered in arid and wet regions of central and eastern Utah. Its early development was largely due to overgrazing of mountain meadow rangelands by livestock. As the forest’s ecological conditions changed, the plant evolved and expanded, and its abundance increased. But before its widespread distribution, it wasn’t known what to do with its abundant flower and fruit production.

The red-berried elder is also a wonderful addition to any landscape. It forms a dense thicket and may root sprout in a more formal landscape. It blooms before other plants and is noticeable when the common elderberry just begins to leaf out. When the common elderberry is flowering, its berries are bright red. The shrub’s red berries are highly prized by bees and birds, so you should plant it near streams and ponds.

In a study by Hamilton and colleagues, red elderberry shrubs tended to recover on north-facing slopes of an American beech forest. Interestingly, the shrubs increased postfire despite their exclusion from a white-tailed deer population. The shrubs grew rapidly in postfire exclosures and in burned plots in which deer were excluded. The researchers planted red elderberry in these areas in February and monitored their growth.

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