27 Beautiful Flowering Plants For Wet Soil

Are you wondering what to plant in that wet spot in your yard? It can be challenging to find plants that thrive in wet soil, so you may be pleasantly surprised that there are so many beautiful plants that love wet soil conditions! In this article, gardening expert Liessa Bowen introduces 27 fabulous flowering plants for your rain garden, pond border, or low-lying flood-prone riparian area.

Yellow marsh marigold flowers bloom, their petals unfurling gracefully under the sunlight, radiating warmth. Resting gently on their leaves, they create a picturesque scene, a delicate balance of nature's artistry and tranquility.


If you live near a pond, stream, or wetland, you probably have places in your landscape with wet soil. If you have a low spot that doesn’t drain well, you can create a rain garden. Wet soils often occur in larger areas in fields and forests, but can also be a struggle in small, low-lying plots. If you have these conditions, you may wonder, what can I grow there?

Many plants can’t tolerate constantly wet soils. Luckily, there are plenty of showy flowering plants that love wet conditions, from ground covers and vines to wildflowers and shrubs. You can grow a single plant in a small area or create an attractive mass planting to fill larger areas. Don’t let wet soil stop you from creating a beautiful garden with plenty of curb appeal.

As you look through your options, familiarize yourself with the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone map and learn your zone. You can then select the plants that will thrive in your region. Then pay attention to the sunlight requirements of each plant and make sure you. With these things in mind, you can then create an ideal assembly of beautiful plants that are perfectly suited for your landscape. 

Keep reading about 27 beautiful and easy-to-grow flowering plants for the wet spots in your yard!

American Bellflower

Lavender American bellflowers bloom gracefully on a solitary stem, each petal a delicate masterpiece. In the backdrop, blurred foliage hints at the lush greenery surrounding this elegant floral display.
The American Bellflower boasts tall spikes of showy, star-shaped flowers.
botanical-name botanical name Campanula americana
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 2 – 6 feet
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 4 – 8

The American bellflower is native to moist habitats throughout eastern North America. It grows in open woodlands, along streambanks, and in wet ditches. Home gardeners will appreciate this beautiful wildflower that thrives in a moist shaded garden plot. 

In ideal conditions, the American bellflower will reseed itself readily, forming lovely naturalized stands. These tall plants bloom in the summer months and won’t disappoint! The five-pointed star-shaped flowers bloom in tall spikes and are very showy, attracting plenty of pollinators and even hummingbirds. 

Blue Mistflower

A close-up of lavender Blue Mistflowers, their delicate petals catching rays. The flowers appear fluffy, their soft texture contrasting with the blurred backdrop of lush green foliage, creating a serene natural scene.
This flower requires careful management due to its aggressive growth.
botanical-name botanical name Conoclinium coelestinum
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 1.5 – 3 feet
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 5 – 10

This herbaceous perennial wildflower is native to the central and southeastern United States and into Central America and the West Indies. Grow it in moist to periodically wet areas such as a rain garden or areas subject to occasional flooding. It performs very well in both full sun and partial shade.

The blue mistflower blooms in mid to late summer and early fall. It is easily grown from seed and will readily naturalize. Keep this plant under control in your garden because it can spread aggressively and become weedy. The fluffy-looking pale purple flowers attract butterflies and provide a good source of nectar late in the growing season. 


Buttonbush blooms with fluffy spherical flowers in striking hues of white and red, captivating with its vibrant allure. Its dense foliage forms a rich green backdrop, enhancing the charm of the delicate blossoms with its lush embrace.
The buttonbush blooms in mid-summer to early fall with white spherical flowers.
botanical-name botanical name Cephalanthus occidentalis
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 5 – 12 feet
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 5 – 9

Looking for an interesting pollinator shrub for your wet spot? Buttonbush has an amazing ability to grow well in shallow standing water or any other moist landscape area with poor drainage. These medium-sized native shrubs are well-behaved and won’t spread aggressively. 

Buttonbushes bloom anywhere from mid-summer into early fall. You won’t want to miss their blooming phase because the flowers are quite showy. Creamy white spheres are lightly fragrant and look somewhat like little snowballs, or perhaps pincushions, scattered around the entire shrub. These spherical flower clusters are sure to attract many pollinators and even hummingbirds.

Cardinal Flower

A group of vibrant red-violet cardinal flowers stands tall, soaking up sunlight in a garden. The lush greenery embraces them, creating a serene and picturesque scene of nature's beauty.
Plant cardinal flower for vibrant late-season color in rain gardens.
botanical-name botanical name Lobelia cardinalis
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 4 – 5 feet
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 3 – 9

Cardinal flowers may be one of the more dazzling flowers you can grow in your moist garden plot. These plants produce tall spikes of spectacularly scarlet-red flowers in late summer. The flowers, in turn, are a favorite of hummingbirds and an assortment of beneficial pollinators

Cardinal flower is native to moist fields and woodland edges of the eastern United States. It prefers a partially shaded location with consistently moist soil and will also tolerate periodic flooding. Grow this beautiful wildflower in a rain garden or along the edge of a riparian zone for a burst of late-season color.

Coastal Joe Pye Weed

This variety of Joe Pye weed thrives in wetlands along the East Coast.
botanical-name botanical name Eutrochium dubium
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 3 – 6 feet
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 3 – 9

Coastal Joe Pye weed is an adaptable plant that is also a pollinator magnet. Butterflies, bees, and birds will all flock to the dense, feathery clusters of pinkish-violet flowers. The flowers have a long blooming period starting in late summer and extending into fall. 

This tall perennial wildflower is native to wetlands along the east coast of North America. It can grow both tall and wide, so give it plenty of space to perform. Allow these plants to naturalize in a location with plenty of sunlight and consistently moist soil. They tolerate periodic flooding and make a great plant to grow around ponds or along streams.

Coastal Spider Lily

Amidst a garden, a sun-kissed coastal spider lily flourishes, its delicate petals basking in the warm light. With its graceful elongated leaves and pristine white blossoms resembling spiders, it adds an ethereal beauty to its surroundings.
These flowers bloom in summer with fragrant, spider-like petals.
botanical-name botanical name Hymenocallis crassifolia
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 1 – 2 feet
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 7 – 10

The coastal spider lily is a native bulb from the southern United States and Central and South America. These beautiful and unusual lilies are cold hardy in warmer climates but can easily be grown as annuals in cooler climates or bring the bulbs inside to overwinter them.

Spider lilies love wet, saturated soil conditions and thrive in boggy habitats, marshes, and wet ditches. They bloom in the summer with large, fragrant, elongated petals that give them a spider-like appearance. 

Coastal Tickseed

A close-up of a yellow coastal tickseed flower with a dark center, soaking up the sun's warmth, its petals unfurling gracefully. In the backdrop, blurred foliage adds a serene ambiance, highlighting the flower's natural beauty.
The coastal tickseed blooms with golden-yellow flowers during summer.
botanical-name botanical name Coreopsis gladiata
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 1 – 2 feet
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 7 – 9

Coastal tickseed, also known as swamp tickseed or swamp coreopsis, is a short-lived perennial wildflower. It is native to wet meadows and floodplains throughout the southeastern United States and is easily started from seed. Coastal tickseed prefers sandy soil with good drainage, but the soil should stay moist to occasionally wet.  

At the peak of summer, coastal tickseed blooms with its cheerful, golden-yellow flowers. Each plant produces several long-lasting flowers that are favored by pollinators. After flowering, birds will relish picking apart the seedheads for a nutritious snack

Creeping Sedge

Patches of creeping sedge stretch across the parched earth, resilient amidst arid conditions. Its slender leaves, extending gracefully, offer a verdant contrast against the barren landscape, a testament to nature's ability to endure and thrive in adversity.
This ground cover plant is appreciated primarily for its attractive foliage.
botanical-name botanical name Carex laxiculmis
sun-requirements sun requirements Partial to full shade
height height 0.75 – 1 foot
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 4 – 9

Looking for a bit of evergreen foliage for a moist, forested site? Creeping sedge has a lot to offer. This plant is native to moist woodlands of eastern North America and will grow well in any shaded location with medium to wet soil

This low-growing grass-like plant grows in dense, leafy, rounded bunches and makes a good ground cover. Use it along a wooded trail or at a pond’s edge. Sedge flowers bloom in the spring and summer but are inconspicuous and not particularly showy. These plants are best appreciated for their attractive foliage.

Curly Clematis

A vibrant purple clematis flower blooms on a winding vine, its delicate petals unfurling elegantly. In the background, a soft blur reveals another clematis, adding depth to the lush greenery surrounding the blossoms.
Rambling vines of curly clematis bear fragrant pink or purple bell-like flowers.
botanical-name botanical name Clematis crispa
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 6 – 10 feet
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 6 – 9

Curly clematis, also known as swamp leather flower, is a beautifully showy vine that’s native to the central and southeastern United States. It grows primarily along woodland edges near swamps and floodplains, where it enjoys constant soil moisture. 

Curly clematis develops long, rambling, twining vines and will climb over other sturdy plants or a trellis for structural support. Lacking support, it will sprawl along the ground and make a good ground cover. Fragrant, bell-like pink or purple flowers bloom in the spring and sometimes rebloom in the fall. 

Few-flower Milkweed

 A close-up of a few-flower milkweed against a blurred gray foliage backdrop. Its delicate blooms feature red sepals complemented by sunny yellow petals, adding a splash of color to the serene background.
This milkweed boasts tall stalks adorned with clusters of vibrant reddish-orange flowers.
botanical-name botanical name Asclepias lanceolata
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 3 – 5 feet
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 5 – 11

Few-flower milkweed is a wonderful butterfly plant for your wetland habitat. This plant is native to the southeastern United States, where it grows primarily in sandy coastal areas with frequent standing water. In the home garden, few-flower milkweed prefer a warmer coastal climate with moist to wet, sandy soil. 

Few-flower milkweed happily blends into its surroundings for most of the growing season. It produces long, slender, blade-like leaves that resemble thickened grass. In the warm summer months, however, it really comes to life by sending up tall flowering stalks with small clusters of bright reddish-orange flowers. Pollinators love this plant, and the thin leaves are a valuable larval food source for monarch butterfly caterpillars.

Japanese Iris

Japanese irises displaying blue and purple petals, delicately layered against each other. In the background, blurred foliage adds depth, creating a serene scene accentuating the beauty of the irises.
The Japanese iris boasts large purple-blue flowers along wetland edges.
botanical-name botanical name Iris laevigata
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 1.5 – 3 feet
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 5 – 9

Japanese iris, also known as water iris, is a beautifully showy plant native to Siberia and Japan. Unlike most varieties of iris, the Japanese iris loves water and can grow with its roots entirely submerged in shallow water or anywhere with consistently wet soil. 

Japanese iris spreads by tuberous rhizomes and will naturalize in ideal conditions, creating a mass of upright, sword-like leaves. The attractive foliage looks great along a wetland edge and is further enhanced when these plants bloom in the late spring or early summer. The purple-blue flowers are large and showy, attracting pollinators and providing habitat for beneficial insects, such as dragonflies, along the water’s edge.

Japanese Sweet Flag

A close-up of slender, glossy leaves from a Japanese sweet flag plant, capturing intricate details. The sunlight dances on the surface, highlighting their shimmering allure and delicate texture, creating a serene natural portrait.
The flowers of the Japanese sweet flag are small catkin-like structures on lower stems.
botanical-name botanical name Acorus gramineus
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 0.5 – 1 foot
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 6 – 9

The Japanese sweet flag, also known as grassy-leaved sweet flag, closely resembles a grass but is actually an ornamental perennial flower. This plant is native to Asia and can be grown in a sunny to partially shaded location with plenty of moisture, including shallow standing water. 

Japanese sweet flag plants form attractive leafy clumps, including cultivars with solid green leaves and those with pretty variegated foliage. These plants make a good ground cover or edging plant. They earn the name sweet flag because the leaves are sweetly fragrant when crushed. The flowers are fairly insignificant, resembling upright catkins emerging directly from the lower stems.

Large-flowered Hibiscus

A vibrant red hibiscus blossom, its petals unfurling gracefully. Against a backdrop of lush, emerald green leaves, the flower's bold hue stands out, capturing the eye with its striking contrast and natural beauty.
This hibiscus variety produces spectacular six-inch wide pink flowers.
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 large-flowered hibiscus is a medium-sized shrubby perennial native to the southeastern United States. It thrives in moist to saturated soils and would be an ideal choice for a southeastern bog garden or stream side wildflower. 

Large-flowered hibiscus certainly lives up to its name! The flowers start blooming in late spring and continue into summer. These spectacular flowers can be more than six inches across, have six broad petals, and are typically pale pink with a hot pink center. Although individual plants can grow quite large in a single year, they die back to the ground each winter and benefit greatly from organically rich, fertile soil to support their annual fast growth rates.

Lizard’s Tail

A lizard's tail plant showcases its unique beauty with white flower spikes, drawing attention with their delicate allure. Surrounding the spikes, lush green leaves create a harmonious contrast, enhancing the plant's natural elegance.
The lizard’s tail plant naturally spreads seeds in shallow water areas.
botanical-name botanical name Saururus cernuus
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 1 – 4 feet
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 3 – 9

Lizard’s tail is a water-loving perennial native to wetlands of eastern North America. It grows in wet ditches, flood-prone lowlands, and around pond edges. You can also grow it at home in a rain garden or water garden or allow it to naturalize along wetland margins.

The lizard’s tail plant blooms from late spring to early summer. The fragrant white flower spikes generally have a gentle curve at the top and somewhat resemble a fluffy, white lizard’s tail. If allowed to naturalize, lizard’s tail will easily form a large colony in areas of standing shallow water, spreading quickly by rhizomes and self-seeding.

Marsh Marigold

Yellow marsh marigold flowers bask in the warm sunlight, their petals outstretched in a radiant display. Nestled behind them, verdant green leaves form a lush backdrop, adding depth to the natural scene with their vibrant hues.
This wet-soil-loving plant thrives in bog gardens or containers with water.
botanical-name botanical name Caltha palustris
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 1 – 2 feet
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 3 – 7

The marsh marigold is not actually related to marigolds, nor do they look like marigolds. These water-loving plants have heart-shaped leaves with serrated edges and entirely bright yellow five-petaled flowers. The flowers bloom in spring and are sure to attract plenty of early-season pollinators, particularly native bees and butterflies.

Marsh marigolds would be a beautiful addition to your bog garden or rain garden. They can even be grown in a container that holds water. This plant is easy to grow and spreads readily by fleshy rhizomes. Marsh marigold loves wet and saturated soil and a bit of afternoon shade.

Marsh Rattlesnake Master

Marsh rattlesnake master's slender stem supports white and blue spherical flowers, delicately branching out. In the blurred backdrop, lush greenery provides a serene contrast, enhancing the vivid colors of the blossoms.
The marsh rattlesnake master thrives in full sun with consistent soil moisture.
botanical-name botanical name Eryngium aquaticum
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 2 – 4 feet
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 6 – 8

The marsh rattlesnake master is a colorful plant with very unusual flowers. The yucca-like leaves form a low rosette and have bristly edges. In mid-summer, the marsh rattlesnake master sends up a flowering stalk topped with several purple-blue orb-like flowers. The flowers look like spiky, round pincushions and are very attractive to butterflies and other pollinators

Grow your marsh rattlesnake master in a full-sun location with plenty of soil moisture. These plants tolerate wet soils and will adapt to any soil with consistent moisture. Marsh rattlesnake master is native to the southeastern United States and is a beautiful wildflower for your water garden or moist border. 


Three purple pickerelweed flower spikes rise gracefully above the lush greenery of their broad leaves. Each bloom emanates a vibrant hue, inviting pollinators to partake in their nectar-rich bounty.
This attracts pollinators with purple flower spikes in mid-summer.
botanical-name botanical name Pontederia cordata
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 2 – 4 feet
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 3 – 10

Pickerelweed is a common aquatic plant that grows in shallow waters of ponds, marshes, and moist ditches. This herbaceous perennial wildflower is widespread and native to eastern North America. While they typically grow along the water’s edge, these plants don’t need to be constantly saturated, but they do need very moist to wet soil.

Pickerelweed grows from thick, tuberous rhizomes that spread to form dense colonies of vegetation. Single heart-shaped leaves rise from the tubers on thick, upright stems. Pickerelweed blooms in mid-summer with its showy purple flower spikes that attract a multitude of pollinators

Pitcher Plant

A close-up reveals the intricate tubular leaves of a pitcher plant, showcasing nature's artistry. Veins of varying hues crisscross the surface, painting a mesmerizing picture of intricate design and biological functionality within this carnivorous wonder of the plant kingdom.
Pitcher plants use tubular leaves to capture insects in water-filled traps.
botanical-name botanical name Sarracenia spp.
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 0.5 – 2.5 feet
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 6 – 8

If you happen to be fascinated by carnivorous plants, you can try growing your own. Never dig up carnivorous plants from their native habitats, but rather buy plants from a reputable nursery that responsibly propagates their own plants. Pitcher plants are characteristic of many acidic, boggy environments.

These plants are both unusual and highly interesting. Their tubular leaves are known for capturing insects in water-filled traps. Pitcher plants bloom in the spring with unusual hooded flowers. The flowers and leaves of these carnivorous plants are quite colorful, including shades of green, purple, and yellow. Pitcher plants require very specific growing conditions but can be successfully grown by a dedicated gardener!

Purple Gerardia

A close-up of purple gerardia flowers, delicately perched on a green stem, their petals unfurling gracefully against a softly blurred backdrop. Gentle light bathes them, illuminating their intricate details and casting a serene glow over the scene.
The purple gerardia blooms trumpet-shaped flowers in various shades.
botanical-name botanical name Agalinis purpurea
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 3 – 4 feet
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 2  – 11

The purple gerardia, also called purple false foxglove, is native to the eastern and southeastern United States. This plant is an annual that will keep its population strong by reseeding. It grows in moist fields and along wet shorelines and is easily grown at home with moist to wet sandy soil

Purple gerardia blooms from mid-summer into fall. The trumpet-shaped flowers are typically shades of pink but also come in white and purple, and the insides of the flower tubes are speckled. The flowers attract bees and other pollinators. 

Purple Turtlehead

A purple turtlehead plant in close-up, featuring serrated leaves and unopened purple flowers. In the background, blurred hues of more purple turtlehead plants and lush greenery add to the scene's serene beauty.
This late summer to fall bloomer features pinkish elongated tubes.
botanical-name botanical name Chelone obliqua var. obliqua
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 2 – 3 feet
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 5 – 9

Purple turtlehead, also known as red turtlehead, is a beautiful native wildflower from the southeastern United States. In its natural habitat, it grows along woodland streams or other moist, forested habitats. You can grow it in any shaded habitat at home as long as you have organically rich soil with plenty of moisture.

Purple turtlehead starts blooming in late summer and continues into fall. These flowers are pinkish, elongated tubes with hooded openings. They form in small groups at the end of leafy stems and brighten up your shaded landscape. These flowers are also a favorite of bees and hummingbirds.  

Smooth Phlox

A close-up of a single smooth phlox, flaunting its purple petals. In the backdrop, lush green foliage fades into a soft blur, accentuating the flower's solitary beauty in nature's tapestry.
Growing smooth phlox in moist pocket prairies with medium-sized wildflowers enhances its natural habitat.
botanical-name botanical name Phlox glaberrima
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 2 – 4 feet
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 3 – 8

Smooth phlox is a beautiful herbaceous perennial wildflower that loves moist soils. It is adaptable to dryer conditions and also performs well in fairly wet soil conditions. Grow it along a wetland border or along a moist edge. These plants are good for woodland edges where they receive a little afternoon shade.

Smooth phlox grows naturally along riverbanks and in moist meadows and prairies. Try growing this plant in a moist pocket prairie with other medium-sized wildflowers. The vibrant pink to purple flowers are sure to brighten up your landscape when they bloom in the spring and summer. The flowers will attract butterflies and hummingbirds to your garden. 

Smooth Rose Mallow

 A close-up of a smooth rose mallow, its ivory petals contrasting against a vivid crimson heart. In the backdrop, blurred green stems and leaves provide a soft, natural frame, enhancing the flower's delicate beauty.
Smooth rose mallow has large hollyhock-like flowers that attract butterflies and native bees.
botanical-name botanical name Hibiscus laevis
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 4 – 6 feet
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 4 – 9

If you’re looking for a robust and dramatic late-summer flower, try the smooth rose mallow. This herbaceous perennial is very shrub-like, growing up to six feet tall and four feet wide in ideal conditions. Grow it along a wetland edge or any moist area with plenty of space for this large wildflower. 

Smooth rose mallow, also known as halberd-leaved rose mallow, is native to eastern North America, where it grows in wet soils, swampy areas, and along streams and ditches. The distinctive three-lobed leaves provide plenty of summertime greenery. But wait until late summer when the large, showy, hollyhock-like flowers bloom! These plate-sized flowers feature broad white or pale pink petals with a deep pink center and attract many butterflies and native bees to your pollinator garden.

Southern Blue Flag Iris

 A close-up of a purple Southern Blue Flag iris and its stem, showcasing intricate details. The blurred backdrop reveals elongated leaves, contrasting against a dark background, adding depth to the floral composition.
The southern blue flag iris forms low-maintenance colonies with showy purple flowers.
botanical-name botanical name Iris virginica
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun 
height height 1 – 2.5 feet
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 5 – 9

The southern blue flag iris is a beautiful wetland plant native to central and eastern North America. It naturally occurs along wetland edges and can be grown at home in a sunny spot with moist to wet soil.

The southern blue flag iris blooms for two to three weeks each spring with very showy purple flowers. Even when not blooming, the erect blade-like leaves provide plenty of attractive greenery throughout the growing season. Irises spread by creeping rhizomes, eventually forming lovely, low-maintenance colonies

Swamp Milkweed

Amidst sunlight, purple swamp milkweed flowers form two clusters, their petite petals vibrant against the greenery. The blurred backdrop of lush leaves provides a serene setting, emphasizing the delicate allure of the floral clusters.
The swamp milkweed serves as a food source for monarch butterfly caterpillars.
botanical-name botanical name Asclepias incarnata
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 4 – 5 feet
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 3 – 9

If you are hoping to turn your rain garden into a butterfly habitat, look no further than the swamp milkweed. This beautiful wildflower is native to the eastern and southeastern United States. It grows naturally along riparian edges, wet ditches, and in moist fields. In the home garden, give it a location with moist soil and full sun, and it should be a low-maintenance, long-lived perennial

Swamp milkweed, also known as marsh milkweed or swamp butterfly weed, is quite attractive. These plants grow throughout the spring and summer into leafy upright bunches. By late summer, get ready for their dense clusters of bright pinkish-purple flowers. The flowers are a pollinator magnet, and the leaves provide an important larval food source for the monarch butterfly caterpillars.

Swamp Sunflower

 Vivid yellow swamp sunflowers in full bloom, their petals reaching towards the sunlight amidst a backdrop of lush greenery. Delicate, slender leaves sway gently, creating a mesmerizing dance of vibrant colors and textures.
Cultivate swamp sunflowers by providing consistently moist soil in a spacious area.
botanical-name botanical name Helianthus simulans
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun 
height height 3 – 8 feet
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 6 – 9

The swamp sunflower is a native perennial wildflower that grows up to eight feet tall and blooms in late summer. If eight-foot-tall plants will overwhelm your space, lightly prune the main stems in early summer to help them develop a bushier, more compact form. Each stem produces many bright yellow flowers that bees and other pollinators love.

Grow a swamp sunflower plant in a larger area with consistently moist soil and allow it to naturalize. These plants spread by rhizomes and can be easily propagated by division or by seed. While swamp sunflowers prefer consistently moist soils and will even tolerate occasional saturation, they will also adapt well to drier soil conditions.

Sweet Pepperbush

A close-up of delicate, white sweet pepperbush flowers and leaves, highlighting intricate details. In the background, a soft blur reveals another cluster of blooms and lush greenery, creating a harmonious botanical scene.
The sweet pepperbush attracts hummingbirds and butterflies with its fragrant white blooms.
botanical-name botanical name Clethra alnifolia
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 5 – 10 feet
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 3 – 9

Sweet pepperbush is a lovely deciduous shrub to fill in and naturalize a garden plot with wet soil. This plant fills a valuable niche as an attractive flowering shrub that thrives in both wet soil and shady locations where it can be difficult to grow other plants. If you don’t want a thicket of sweet pepperbush, keep the root suckers pruned.

Sweet pepperbush is native to the eastern United States and has been bred into many wonderful cultivars, including more colorful flowers and more compact growth forms. The flower racemes contain a tightly packed spike of fragrant white flowers. They bloom during the summer months and are very appealing to hummingbirds, butterflies, and a host of other pollinators.


 Red winterberries cluster along the slender stems, adding a pop of seasonal color to the landscape. Delicate veins intricately pattern the leaves, creating a picturesque scene of nature's intricate beauty.
This plant showcases vibrant red berries in the fall.
botanical-name botanical name Ilex verticillata
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to full shade
height height 6 – 12 feet
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 3 – 9

If you thought all hollies had stiff, evergreen, prickly leaves, you haven’t yet met a winterberry. The winterberry holly is a medium-sized deciduous shrub native to central and eastern North America. It loves medium-moisture to wet soils and would make a great hedge or wetland border plant

While winterberry produces small greenish-white flowers in mid-summer, it’s the berries that really steal the show. The small, round fruits become bright red in the fall. Once winterberry loses its leaves for the winter, the stems are lined with clusters of showy fruits that attract hungry birds and provide plenty of winter foraging opportunities.

Final Thoughts

You may be surprised at how many beautiful, showy, and easy-to-grow plants will thrive in wet soil conditions. No matter where you live, you are sure to find some new additions for your pond edge, streamside border, rain garden, or moist wildflower meadow. Grow several of these plants together for a stunning display of flowers and foliage to last you from spring through fall!

A serene landscape unfolds, adorned with lush evergreen trees and verdant shrubs, creating a picturesque scene of natural beauty. The background dissolves into a gentle blur, hinting at the vast expanse of dense forest beyond.


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easy native plants. Close-up of a blooming Echinacea in a sunny garden. A small beetle, Diabrotica undecimpunctata, sits on a flower. The coneflower flower consists of a cone-shaped copper-colored center surrounded by pink-purple petals.

Ornamental Gardens

15 Easy to Grow Native Plants

Do you want native plants in your garden but fear long lists of growing requirements? Fear not! Many native plants adapt to your local ecosystem and require less care than non-native plants. Gardener Jerad Bryant selects 15 natives for their easy care requirements, their wide range of growth, and their willingness to adapt to new surroundings.

Close-up of blooming wild violets in the garden. Viola sororia presents delicate, heart-shaped leaves in a lush rosette formation, tinged with shades of green. Its dainty, five-petaled flowers bloom in clusters on slender stems, showing a deep purple color. The flowers feature intricate veining.


9 Reasons to Embrace the Wild Violets in Your Lawn

Are weedy violet flowers actually beneficial? Can you save yourself time and money by embracing the wild violets in your lawn? Garden expert Logan Hailey explains how these humble wild plants can improve the lushness, sustainability, and beauty of your landscape.