21 Plants that Thrive in Wet Soil

Wet, boggy, poorly drained gardens or pots missing adequate drainage are conditions that many gardeners consider problems, but for these plants, sopping wet soil is a positive, not a negative. Garden expert Christina Conner wades through 21 plants for rain gardens and swampy soils.

Vibrant purple turtlehead flowers bloom gracefully against a backdrop of rich green foliage, creating a picturesque scene of natural beauty in a garden.


As a native Atlantan – poorly draining clay soils and heavy rains were the common garden “problems” I grew up with. Early in my gardening journey, I cursed these issues – I wanted to grow cute succulents and cacti. Many houseplants were killed by my overzealous watering. But as I gained more experience and garden knowledge, I learned that these challenges aren’t always problems. There are some incredibly cool plants that love wet feet

Poor drainage poses a serious problem for homes and buildings. It can result in foundation issues, mold, soil erosion, and standing water. These issues turn into a breeding ground for pests like mosquitos, termites, and rodents. Fixing drainage issues by installing drainage infrastructure is costly and labor-intensive. Creating rain gardens with thirsty, moisture-loving plants is a low-cost and holistic approach to drying up wet patches. A rain or bog garden is also a great way to incorporate unique plants into your landscape. 

The cardinal rules for most plants are well-draining soil and pots with drainage holes to prevent rot. However, those rules don’t apply to these 21 plants that thrive in wet soil

Weeping Willow

A graceful weeping willow tree with cascading branches, its leaves draping delicately, stands majestically beside a tranquil lake, its reflection shimmering softly in the gentle ripples of the water.
The weeping willow is an icon in the American South.
botanical-name botanical name Salix babylonica 
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 30 – 40 feet 
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 6-8

An icon of the American South, the weeping willow is a prime candidate for wet soils. The only catch is they need ample space to grow. Native to Northern China, the weeping willow is a beautiful tree. They have graceful, weeping branches and slender leaves that sway in the wind.

Though stunning, this willow isn’t without its challenges; it’s a heavy drinker and heavy shedder. Large amounts of leaves shed in fall, and their roots tend to aggressively seek out water. This can lead to clogged septic systems, water, or sewage lines. They need plenty of space away from underground pipes

On the flip side, thanks to their extensive root system, they’re a great tree for erosion control. In addition to the weeping willow, the corkscrew willow, Salix matsudana ‘Tortuosa’, is also a great option for wet soil.  

River Birch ‘Heritage’

A sun-kissed branch of a river birch 'Heritage' tree adorned with golden leaves, highlighted by the gentle rays of sunlight, creating a warm and inviting scene of natural beauty.
The colorful, peeling reddish-brown and pink bark of ‘Heritage’ river birch reveals a white trunk.
botanical-name botanical name Betula nigra ‘Heritage’
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 40 – 70 feet
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 4-9

River birch is an excellent choice for poorly drained areas in full sun. Native to the Mississippi River flood plain, this birch grows throughout the Southeast in riverbanks and streambanks. The river birch is more disease-resistant than other birches in the U.S. and is resistant to the bronze birch borer, a common issue amongst other birch trees in the country.  

The leaves of ‘Heritage’ are diamond-shaped and shiny green, turning bright yellow in early fall. River birch is one of the first trees to enter dormancy in late summer and early fall. ‘Heritage’ is a particularly attractive river birch for the landscape because of its colorful reddish brown and pink bark that peels back to reveal a white trunk, providing a pop of color in an otherwise dull winter landscape. 

Swamp Azalea 

White swamp azalea flowers contrast elegantly against glossy green leaves, their delicate petals unfurling in pristine beauty, invoking a sense of serenity amidst the lush foliage of the surrounding wetlands.
This Rhododendron attracts pollinators with its fragrant summer blooms of various colors.
botanical-name botanical name Rhododendron viscosum 
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade 
height height 2 – 8 feet
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 4-9

Native to the U.S. east coast from Maine to South Carolina, Rhododendron viscosum grows in swamps, wetlands, and along streams and ponds. A terrific choice for shadier spots, the swamp azalea is a fragrant pollinator plant for hummingbirds, bumblebees, and butterflies. It attracts these pollinators with fragrant flowers that bloom from early to mid-summer. This plant has dark green leaves and typically has white, yellow, or pink flowers, depending on the cultivar. 

While this plant loves damp and moist soil, standing water puts the plant at risk for root rot. 

Swamp Rosemallow 

A close-up of a pink swamp rosemallow flower, its delicate petals glowing in sunlight, surrounded by green leaves, basking in the sun's rays.
Cut back the dead stalks in late winter for more branches and blooms in spring.
botanical-name botanical name Hibiscus grandiflorus
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade 
height height 6 – 15 feet
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 8-11

The swamp rosemallow is the perfect plant for gardeners who love the tropical look of hibiscus but don’t live in the tropics. Big, bold flowers bloom profusely throughout spring and summer in full sun and boggy conditions. The swamp mallow comes in various colors, ranging from reds and pinks to whites. They thrive in rich, wet, boggy, or brackish areas near ponds, streams, and swamps. 

Besides massive dinner-plate-sized flowers, the next best thing about this plant is its ease of care. After the stalks have died for winter, cut them back in late winter for even more blooms in spring. While the swamp mallow is tolerant of partial sun, as with most plants, greater sun promotes more blooms. 


A goatsbeard plant stands tall against a vast landscape, its fluffy white plumes dance gracefully in the gentle breeze, adding a touch of elegance to the scene.
The goatsbeard blooms in late spring or early summer with large, fluffy plumes.
botanical-name botanical name Aruncus dioicus
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 3 – 6 feet
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 3-7

Named goatsbeard for its white plumes of flowers, which some think resemble a goat’s beard. This plant is a popular native choice for rain and water gardens. Showy blooms that attract pollinators like bees and butterflies, low maintenance care, and resistance to diseases and pests are great reasons to plant goatsbeard

With native varieties spanning from the Caucasus Mountains to the southeastern U.S., Aruncus dioicus prefers full sun in cooler northern climates and partial sun in hotter southern climates. It blooms in late spring or early summer with tiny flowers making up large fluffy plumes. And note for the home florist – this is a fantastic cut flower

Pussy Willow 

A close-up of a pussy willow plant, revealing fuzzy black buds nestled on red stems, evoking a striking contrast between the soft textures and the bold colors of nature.
The pussy willow’s branches add visual interest to cut flower arrangements.
botanical-name botanical name Salix discolor
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 10 – 20 feet
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 2-7

Prized for their use in floral design, pussy willow is a heavy drinker and great for soaking up moisture in poorly-drained areas. One of the earliest springtime bloomers, their fluffy catkins emerge from hard protective shells and resemble adorable tiny cat paws. Pussy willows are fast growers. They often grow up to two feet in a year, which can be overwhelming if left unchecked. They benefit from a hard prune after flowering in spring to keep the plant compact and manageable. After pruning, save their branches for propagation or use them in wreaths and dried floral arrangements. 

Be mindful of location when planting a pussy willow. Like most willows, their root system is aggressive. They’re known to clog sewers, drains, septic tanks, water lines, and even building foundations in search of water, so consider any underground infrastructure before planting. 

Horsetail Rush

Slender, green horsetail rush plants stand tall, their segmented stems reaching upwards like miniature skyscrapers in a wetland habitat, showcasing nature's architectural marvels.
This architectural plant is ideal for ponds and water gardens.
botanical-name botanical name Equisetum hyemale
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 2 – 4 feet 
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 4-9 

Horsetail, also known as scouring rush, is the ideal plant for gardens that need a bold, statement-making, architectural plant. Tall, green reeds with nodes similar to bamboo stand upright in dense, quickly spreading colonies and can grow up to three feet tall. Equisetum hyemale is native to North America, Europe, and Asia and has roots dating back over 400 million years to the Devonian period. Its closest relative is the fern, though the two species look nothing alike.

This ancient plant loves water and thrives in standing water and boggy conditions. It’s a great option for ponds, water gardens, or pots without drainage holes; this is one of the few scenarios where that’s a feature, not a problem! Speaking of pots, this plant is extremely invasive in certain areas and quickly turns into a nuisance. In these regions, it’s best contained in a poorly draining pot, planter, or other vessel. 

Corkscrew Rush

Curly green corkscrew rush plant, resembling a winding corkscrew, adorned with sparkling water droplets, enhancing its lush appearance and creating a refreshing ambiance in the garden.
The corkscrew rush should be container-grown due to its invasive tendency.
botanical-name botanical name Juncus effusus ‘Spiralis’
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 1 – 1.5 feet 
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 5-11

With no leaves or flowers, green waxy stems spiral in all directions, earning it the moniker corkscrew rush. This is a great plant to add some playful and whimsical energy to children’s gardens or water gardens (the plant handles up to four inches of standing water). It can even be kept as a houseplant with enough sunlight. In warmer climates, corkscrew rush is perennial and evergreen. It dies back and needs to be cut back in early spring in colder climates. In mid-to-late summer, the plant blooms with small brownish flowers. 

Plant with caution – like horsetail rush, Juncus effusus spreads via rhizome and has a tendency to grow out of control. Containers are advised for this plant. 

Fiber Optic Grass 

Fiber optic grass with delicate white blooms swaying gracefully in the breeze, creating a lush and serene atmosphere in the garden, evoking a sense of tranquility and natural beauty.
This can thrive indoors with proper care and sunlight.
botanical-name botanical name Isolepis cernua
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 10 – 12 inches
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 8-11

Named for its likeness to the color-changing fiber optic lamps of the 90s, it splays out in tufts with thin stems topped with tiny flowers on the tip of each leaf, turning from silver or white to tan with age. Technically, fiber optic grass is a sedge, not a grass. This plant thrives in full sun and wet soil and is great in ponds, water gardens, or in boggy garden areas. It’s easily divided by chopping its roots apart. It’s pruned just as easily – give scraggly fiber optic grass a haircut on top to promote bushier growth. 

If you’re looking for this plant, it’s sometimes sold under the trade names Fairy Lights, Nodding Club-rush, or Live Wire Grass. In cold climates, it’s an annual but can be overwintered indoors in bright sunlight in a poorly-drained pot. Hint: This is a great plant for adorable pots that lack drainage holes!


Green switchgrass dances gently, adorned with purple panicles, a picturesque scene of nature's harmony and grace, capturing the essence of tranquility.
Certain switchgrass varieties can grow to be seven to eight feet tall.
botanical-name botanical name Panicum virgatum
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 3 – 7 feet 
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 5-9

Also known as tall panic grass, thatch grass, and tall prairie grass, switchgrass is a low-maintenance, slowly spreading grass that’s a popular accent plant in boggy areas. Beyond ornamental use, farms and ranches use it as forage for cattle or to control erosion, thanks to its extensive and deep root system. While it prefers moist to wet soil, it’s tolerant of occasional dryness once completely established. 

There are many, many varieties of switchgrass in different sizes and colors. Most varieties top out at about five feet tall. Some cultivars like ‘Blue Tower’ or ‘Cloud Nine’ reach between seven and eight feet tall. There are dwarf varieties like ‘Cape Breeze’ and ‘Cheyenne Sky’, which top out at about three feet. 

American Pitcher Plant 

A close-up of American pitcher plants displaying vibrant purple and green veins, reminiscent of a painter's delicate brushstrokes, drawing attention to the intricate patterns within nature's masterpiece.
Pitcher plants consume insects for nutrients but have specific soil and water needs.
botanical-name botanical name Sarracenia leucophylla
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 1 – 3 feet
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 6-9 

The American pitcher plant is native to the swamps of southern Georgia, Alabama, and the Florida panhandle. This carnivorous plant is a great pick for humid, boggy areas with acidic, humus-rich soil. Sarracenia leucophylla is sometimes referred to as the crimson pitcher plant, white-topped pitcher plant, or white trumpet pitcher plant. It’s named for intricate white pitchers that bloom with a single bright red flower in spring. 

The American pitcher plant absorbs nutrients from the decaying corpses of its victims, including but not limited to beetles, flies, ants, and wasps. Though tempting to try and feed the plant like a pet, it’s best to let nature run its course and never feed them insects. They’re a bit finicky – potting soil, chlorinated water, and chemical fertilizers can kill them. I recommend a planting mix of sphagnum peat moss, perlite, and sand peat and watering only with rainwater or distilled water. 

The term “pitcher plant” is also used for the hanging pitcher plant Nepenthes, native to Southeast Asia, Madagascar, and Australia. Do be careful to differentiate between the two species; Nepenthes pitcher plants do not like wet soil. Sarracenia leucophylla is endangered, so only grow from seed or purchase them from a reputable plant source, such as a botanical garden or well-vetted plant nursery.  

Venus Flytrap

 A group of Venus flytraps, their jaws poised for prey, contrast against a soft, blurred backdrop of vibrant green grass, hinting at the carnivorous nature of these fascinating plants.
Venus flytraps thrive in terrariums with ample light.
botanical-name botanical name Dionaea muscipula
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 6 – 12 inches
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 6-10

If you’re planting a carnivorous garden, you can’t skip this quintessential carnivorous plant. Native to similar regions as the American pitcher plant, the venus flytrap loves boggy and nutrient-poor soils where evolution led to the plant’s carnivorous traits. Dionaea muscipula quickly snaps its prey (such as ants, beetles, and spiders) between two intimidating jaws and slowly digests them over one to two weeks. 

The flytraps themselves are low-growing and spread via rhizome, and flower in spring with rather basic flowers, simply to let pollinators do their job without fanfare. The real stars of the show are the traps themselves. Contrary to what we’re typically used to with ornamental plants, some gardeners prefer to cut the flowers off as soon as they start to grow to save the plant’s energy for continued growth. 

As houseplants, they do pretty well in closed terrariums with plenty of light. A note on sourcing: nearly endangered, the venus flytrap is quickly becoming victim to its own popularity, so grow from seed or purchase from a reputable, ethical source. 

Common Sundew 

A close-up of common sundews with vibrant red tentacles glistening with dew, ready to capture unsuspecting insects with its sticky surface, showcasing nature's intricate design and carnivorous adaptation in action.
The sundew traps insects and consumes them for nitrogen.
botanical-name botanical name Drosera rotundifolia 
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 2 – 10 inches
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 3-8

A member of the Droseraceae plant family (which also includes the venus flytrap), Drosera is by far the largest genus of over 150 species of sundew that grow worldwide. Drosera rotundifolia, known as either common sundew or roundleaf sundew, is native to damp and boggy regions in the coastal U.S. and Canada. Like most carnivorous plants, the sundew thrives in poor soil and evolved to get its nutrients from unsuspecting insects. 

Named for sticky sweet droplets resembling dew glimmering in the sunlight, the sundew feeds mostly on mosquitoes and other insects attracted to its nectar. After trapping prey in its red and sticky hair-like tentacles, the long leaves of the sundew curl inward, smothering victims and providing the plant with much-needed nitrogen. 

Suffice to say – if you’ve ever wanted a carnivorous garden, boggy soil is your best friend

Mangrove Spiderlily 

 Green stalks of mangrove spiderlily displaying elegant white flowers, reaching towards the blue sky in the background, evoking a serene coastal ambiance with its graceful presence.
The mangrove spiderlily requires indoor protection from the cold in most U.S. regions.
botanical-name botanical name Hymenocallis latifolia
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade 
height height 1 – 3 feet 
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 10-11

Native to the coastal, sandy mangrove swamps and dunes of central and south Florida down to the Keys, the fragrant Mangrove Spiderlily grows via bulb in rich, moist-to-wet soils. It blooms throughout spring and summer and even into fall with white, fragrant, spider-shaped flowers pollinated by moths in the evening. When not in bloom, its large green leaves add texture to the garden as an accent plant.  

It’s tolerant of salt spray, partial shade, and even occasional drought, but it is not cold-tolerant. In most of the U.S., it needs to be overwintered indoors. You can do this by digging up its rhizomes or moving it to a pot indoors. 


A close-up of purple turtlehead flowers and leaves, contrasting against a blurred backdrop of lush greenery and more blooming flora, showcasing nature's intricate beauty in detailed splendor.
The turtlehead plant gets its name from flowers that resemble a turtle’s head.
botanical-name botanical name Chelone spp. 
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade 
height height 2 – 3 feet 
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 3-9

Found along streams and ponds in the eastern U.S., the turtlehead is a beautiful and low-maintenance addition to rain and wildflower gardens. Blooming in late summer, it’s a favorite for pollinators, including hummingbirds, bumblebees, and butterflies. It makes a great cut flower. Closely related to snapdragons and foxgloves, there are four species of turtlehead, and all do well in the same conditions. They thrive in moist to boggy humus-rich soil and full to partial sun, though their hardiness zones are varied:    

  • Pink turtlehead, Chelone lyonii (zones 3-8)
  • White turtlehead Chelone glabra (zones 3-8)
  • Red turtlehead, Chelone oblqua (zones 5-9)
  • Cuthbert’s turtlehead, Chelone cuthbertii (zones 5-9)

Lastly, because I’m sure you’re wondering, the turtlehead gets its name from its flowers that resemble a turtle’s head poking out from a shell. Whether or not you can get over saying “turtlehead” without a giggle is another matter entirely. 

Golden Creeping Jenny 

Golden creeping jenny, its leaves a vibrant mix of green and yellow, basks luxuriously in the sun, radiating a lush and vibrant hue, adding a touch of warmth to the garden.
Check local regulations, as creeping jenny is invasive in certain US areas.
botanical-name botanical name Lysimachia nummularia ‘Aurea’
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 2 – 4 inches
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 3-9 

Also known as moneywort, Lysimachia nummularia ‘Aurea’ is an easy-to-grow evergreen ground cover tolerant of a wide range of light conditions from shade to sun. In shade, the leaves are lime green and turn to bright, brassy gold in full sun. That said, harsh, all-day sun will singe the leaves, so they’ll do best in partial shade, where the leaves turn to a goldish-yellow. 

They love wet soil and are a nice addition to containers, hanging baskets, rock gardens, and even shallow ponds. They can withstand up to two inches of standing water. Some gardeners even have luck keeping one as a houseplant! 

It’s so great that it’s even a winner of the Royal Horticultural Society Award of Merit. But creeping jenny can be just a little too great in parts of the U.S. where it’s invasive. Check your local laws before planting. Keep it contained and well away from fences and property edges to prevent any unwanted spreading. 


A cluster of papyrus plants with green foliage, interspersed with delicate small flowers in a verdant setting, showcasing slender, elegant leaves against a backdrop of lush greenery.
Varieties of this plant range from two to six feet in height for ornamental purposes.
botanical-name botanical name Cyperus papyrus 
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 2 – 6 feet
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 9-12

Nicknamed the “umbrella plant” for its long stalks topped with an umbellate resembling an umbrella, papyrus is a striking sedge in bog gardens or ponds. I’ve even seen it grown in a glass container filled with pebbles, much like lucky bamboo. Only perennial in warm climates, you can use the papyrus as an annual or move it to a bright sunny spot indoors in winter, where it will enter dormancy until spring. 

In their native zones in Africa along the Nile River and in the Mediterranean, they grow up to 16 feet tall. That said, varieties cultivated for ornamental use only grow between two and six feet, depending on the variety. ‘King Tut’ is a common dwarf variety that only grows two to three feet, while ‘Nile Queen” grows a bit taller, around four feet. 

They’re considered invasive in warm climates and have escaped cultivation in Florida, California, and Hawaii, which has damaged waterways. Take care to keep this plant contained and check your local laws and zones before planting. 

Swamp Milkweed

Purple swamp milkweed flowers stand out against a backdrop of rich green foliage, creating a striking contrast in this natural scene of blooming beauty.
Clusters of pinkish-purple flowers bloom from spring to fall.
botanical-name botanical name Asclepias incarnata
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 3 – 5 feet 
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 3-9

Unlike most ornamental plants, swamp milkweed thrives in muddy, mucky, wet clay soils. It has a wide native range from central to eastern Canada and the U.S. from Manitoba to as far south as Georgia. It prefers neutral to acidic soils with a neutral to acidic pH and full sun to partial shade. When happy, the swamp milkweed grows up to five feet tall with a spread of up to three feet. 

Asclepias incarnata blooms from spring to fall with clumps of tiny pinkish-purple flowers. Attracting monarch and Swallowtail butterflies, bumblebees, and hummingbirds, it’s a perfect pick for pollinator gardens. This plant does best in native meadows and gardens alongside streams and ponds. 

Calla Lilly

A calla lily plant showcasing pink blooms against lush green leaves, exuding elegance and grace with its slender stems and intricate petals, a botanical masterpiece in full bloom.
This plant requires good drainage and protection in cooler zones.
botanical-name botanical name Zantedeschia aethiopica
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 2 – 3 feet
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 8-10 

The calla lily is a long-lasting cut flower popular in weddings and was a favorite subject of artist Georgia O’Keefe. Plant breeders often release new cultivars and varieties. Zantedeschia aethiopica is available with both variegated and solid foliage and in a spectrum of colors, ranging from classic white to reds and oranges to nearly black, with nearly every color in between.

Known as the arum lily in its native habitat of South Africa’s Western Cape, the calla lily grows in wetlands, roadside ditches, and just about any other place with moist soil. It’s also not botanically considered a lily. Unlike a few other plants on this list, this plant doesn’t like waterlogged, soggy soil, so consistent moisture is best. A well-drained spot near a downspout would be ideal. 

The calla lily is a tender perennial in cooler zones seven through eight, where the ground doesn’t freeze in winter, but its rhizomes still need protection with a thick layer of mulch. If in doubt, you can always dig up the rhizomes and store them indoors over winter. 

Note: highly toxic to humans and pets –  avoid if you have small children or pets around. 

Cinnamon Fern

Tall cinnamon ferns stand, displaying their distinctive brown fertile fronds, adding rich textures to the forest floor, a vibrant display of nature's cycle, showcasing fertility amidst lush greenery.
The cinnamon fern is adaptable to various soil types and conditions.
botanical-name botanical name Osmundastrum cinnamomeum
sun-requirements sun requirements Partial to full shade 
height height 2 – 6 feet
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 4-9

The cinnamon fern is named for the cinnamon-colored fibers that coat the base of the plant and for the color of its unfurling fiddleheads. It’s a great choice for adding textural foliage to shady, wet areas. Like many ferns, the cinnamon fern is over 75 million years old, making it a card-carrying member of the prehistoric plants club. History lesson aside, the cinnamon fern is still a timeless beauty and a favorite for birds seeking nesting materials.  

Native to shaded, boggy streambanks in North and Central America, this iris does best in partial to heavy shade and humusy, moist, acidic soils. As it establishes, it adapts to other soil types and conditions – it even does well in full sun if in standing water. The cinnamon fern is easy to care for and is one of my favorite ferns! 

Blue Flag Iris

A close-up of blue flag irises blooming gracefully on a green stem, each delicate petal a testament to nature's artistry, inviting admiration and awe.
Yellow and purple flowers of this plant attract various pollinators.
botanical-name botanical name Iris versicolor
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 2 – 3 feet 
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 3-9

An iris of many names, also known as harlequin blue flag, large blue iris, larger blue flag iris, or northern blue flag, an Iris versicolor by any other name would be just as great for your rain garden. The blue flag iris is native to streambanks, wetlands, and swamps from Canada to the U.S. It does well in swampy, rich soil or in ponds or containers with up to four inches of standing water. Though full sun promotes more blooms, it’s tolerant of partial shade

Intricate, yellow, and purple flowers stand up to three feet tall and attract pollinators such as hummingbirds, bumblebees, moths, and skipper bumblebees. It’s also a remarkable flower to add to the cutting garden. The blue flag iris is perennial in a wide range of zones and spreads via rhizome, so you’ll be able to appreciate this plant’s beauty year after year. 

Final Thoughts

A poorly draining garden doesn’t need to be a curse – it can be the perfect opportunity to explore some truly unique plants. Rain gardens are a great way to control erosion and reduce stormwater pollution while providing resources for pollinators like butterflies, birds, and bees. Observe your yard’s drainage patterns and any recurring issues to find the plants that will thrive. 

Some of these plants have the potential to become nuisances or even invasive, so look into your local regulations before planting.

close up of a plant that features large, ovate to lance-shaped leaves that are often smooth and green, with prominent veins. There are elongated, drooping clusters of purple berries growing on bright pink stems.

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