Plants for Wet Sites

Perennials, trees and shrubs that thrive in wet or poorly drained soil

Giant gunnera
Giant gunnera (Gunnera manicata) adds a tropical look to the water's edge.

If you are planting in a wet area, or along the water's edge, consider plants from this list. For more ideas, contact your local U.S. Cooperative Extension Service. Many water-tolerant plants are unique, native species that local experts will know about.

Perennial Plants for Wet Sites

  • Cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis)
  • Filipendula (Filipendula purpurea)
  • Giant Gunnera (Gunnera manicata)
  • Gladwyn iris (Iris foetidissima)
  • Blue Flag Iris (Iris versicolor)
  • Joe Pye weed (Eupatorium spp.)
  • Marsh marigold (Caltha palustris)Milkweed (Asclepias)
  • Rose mallow, hardy hibiscus (Hibiscus moscheutos)
  • Siberian iris (Iris sibirica)
  • Turtlehead (Chelone glabra)

Shrubs for Wet Sites

  • Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis)
  • Chokeberry (Aronia arbutifolia)
  • Elderberry (Sambucus canadensis)
  • Red Osier Dogwood (Cornus sericea)
  • Summersweet (Clethra alnifolia)
  • Swamp azalea (Rhododendron viscosum)

Trees for Wet Sites

  • Box alder (Acer negundo)
  • Red maple (Acer rubrum)
  • River birch (Betula nigra)
  • Green ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica)
  • Pin oak (Quercus palustris)
  • Willow (Salix spp.)

Last updated: 07/13/2023