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Make the Outdoors Look Pretty With These Rain Garden Plants

Loveleena Rajeev Mar 20, 2019
A rain garden is designed to use the excess water from rain and storms. Rain garden plants are the ones that can withstand a lot of moisture without rotting. Here is a list of specific plants that you can have in a rain garden.
A rain garden is like any other garden, as a part of a huge garden or part of a suburban landscape. In most large areas, these gardens are added as borders or as entry features; whereas, in landscaping they are used as features to beautify parking lots, sidewalks, traffic turns. These plants are mostly grown where water can collect without stagnating. 
A rain garden is designed to imitate the hydrological action of a forest. Water is captured in a garden which is dug and shaped like a basin that uses specific water intensive plants. Rain garden plants reduce the levels of nitrogen, phosphorus, and the overall sediment that gets drained in the garden.
The treatment on the water affects waste or pollutants by bioremediation (use of microorganisms) that can break down undesirable substances. These gardens are mainly of two types: under-drained and self-contained.
Both types are used to reduce water runoff volumes, improving storm water quality, and to facilitate infiltration of water into the soil. Some of these gardens have drainage systems that move excess water into a conventional storm sewer pipe system.

Types of Plants

Rain gardens are created using plants that can withstand extreme moisture, as well as thrive in it. Most horticulturists recommend plants that are fuss-free, have good root systems, and utilize the water and nutrients available in the soil.
Trees, perennials, shrubs, wildflowers, can all be incorporated. Invasive or noxious species should be avoided, as they would take over most growth, and ruin the design of the garden. Here is a state-wise list of plants that are easily available.


  • woolgrass
  • soft-stem bulrush
  • Canada rush
  • arrow arum.

New Jersey

  • Joe-pye weed
  • Swamp milkweed
  • White turtlehead


  • Ebony spleenwort
  • Bottlebrush grass
  • Smooth blue aster
  • Black snakeroot


  • Sweet pepperbush
  • Cardinal flower

Other Plants

  • Turkey tangle fogfruit
  • Common blue violet
  • American water-willow
  • Eastern gamagrass
Rain gardens have specific uses. They can add to the aesthetic appeal of an otherwise boring suburban landscape. They prevent storm water from collecting and stagnating. These types of gardens are incorporated in storm water management plans. They are easy to maintain as they require no additional water and very little fertilization.
Annual cleaning and pruning usually helps keep them in good shape. It helps to improve water quality by filtering out pollutants and foreign substances. The plants mentioned here attract a lot of birds and insects like butterflies.