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Groundcovers for Wet Sites

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Usually wet soil and boggy soil poses a difficult problem for the gardener. Few plants can thrive where roots remain wet nearly all of the time.

Some plants native to boggy soil or that grow at the edge of lakes and rivers can transform a sodden area of the garden into a green and colorful space.

Here is a list of plants adapted to sodden earth.

Common NameBotanical NameZones
Chinese astilbeAstilbe chinensis4-8
Featherleaf RodgersiaRodgersia pinnata3-7
HorsetailsEquisetum spp.3-11
HostasHosta spp.3-9
Lady’s mantleAlchemilla mollis4-7
Marsh fernThelypteris palustris5-8


Sedge, Carex morrowii 'Snow Dance'
Sedge, Carex morrowii ‘Snow Dance’
Common NameBotanical NameZones
Meadow anemoneAnemone canadensis3-7
Pink tickseedCoreopsis rosea4-8
PrimrosesPrimula spp.4-8
SedgesCarex spp.5-9
Siberian buglossBrunnera macrophylla3-7
Sweet FlatAcorus gramineus10-11
Sweet WoodruffGalium odoratum5-8

Also of interest:

Groundcovers in Garden Design

Groundcovers for Shade

Written by Stephen Albert

Stephen Albert is a horticulturist, master gardener, and certified nurseryman who has taught at the University of California for more than 25 years. He holds graduate degrees from the University of California and the University of Iowa. His books include Vegetable Garden Grower’s Guide, Vegetable Garden Almanac & Planner, Tomato Grower’s Answer Book, and Kitchen Garden Grower’s Guide. His Vegetable Garden Grower’s Masterclass is available online. has more than 10 million visitors each year.

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