When it comes to gardening, wet soils are one of the most challenging situations for most hobbyists. Presence of excess moisture depletes the oxygen level in the soil level, thus causing suffocation of the root system. Not many plants can tolerate waterlogged conditions or standing water.
On the contrary, most vegetables, herbs, and other plant varieties require well-drained soil for proper growth and bearing of flowers and fruits. If they are grown in wet soils, then you will notice rotting of roots, changing of leaf color, and finally, death of plants. In order to maintain a healthy garden, irrespective of the soil moisture levels, you can select specific shrubs suited for wet areas.
Don't get disappointed if you have wet areas in your landscape design. There are several trees, shrubs, and bushes that prefer moist and wet soils for proper growth and development. While speaking about shrubs for wet areas, they belong to hardy varieties that can tolerate prolonged moist conditions. Following is a list of shrubs that can grow well in moist and wet soils.
Black chokeberry, a multi-stemmed deciduous shrub, is adapted to both wet and dry soils. It grows to about six feet and produces bright red fruits in late summer. Also, the dark green foliage turns to reddish purple in fall, thus giving an eye-catching view. Light shade to full shade conditions and acidic soil are basic requirements for growing this hardy shrub.
Black twinberry is another shrub for wet areas. Though black twinberry can be planted in complete shade, it is best grown in areas that receive partial sunlight (for about four to six hours a day). During spring, the plant bears yellow, small-sized and tubular-shaped flowers. As the name signifies, black twinberry produces black berries with red bracts in fall.
In the native habitats, you can find buttonbush shrubs growing beside lakes and rivers. Depending upon the growing conditions, this shrub grows to about 5-10 feet in height. The flowers are fragrant, tubular, greenish white in color, and borne in small round-shaped clusters. Grow buttonbush in water gardens that receive partial to full sun.
Dogwood shrubs are remarkable for their vibrant-colored foliage and winter bark (reddish green). You can find several species of dogwood shrubs, out of which the tartarian dogwood and silky dogwood are the most common cultivar for planting in wet soils. They require moist soil for their growth and cannot tolerate dry soil. The blooms are white in color which mature to black fruits.
Inkberries are another type of evergreen shrubs that are perfect for wet areas. The name inkberry is assigned after the plant's deep ink-colored berries that are produced in late February. These plants retain their lustrous green foliage throughout the year. The attractive white blooms and persistent black berries make them a popular landscaping plant in many parts of the world.
If you are looking for hardy shrubs that can be grown in a wide range of soils, then Pacific ninebark is the best choice. This deciduous shrub grows well in full to partial sun and can tolerate drought, moist and wet conditions. Pacific ninebark grows to about 13 feet height and spreads to about 13-15 feet. From May through July, the plant bears attractive, snowy white, dome-shaped blooms.
Red elderberry, belonging to the deciduous shrub, grows well in dry as well as wet areas. This fast-growing shrub grows to about 13-15 feet and produces white flower clusters, which after maturity, turn into a cluster of vibrant, red-colored berries. Plant red elderberry shrubs in wet areas that receive partial sun.
Common snowberry is a deciduous shrub that is adapted in a wide range of soils. It reaches to a height of about 4-6 feet and width of the same dimension. The main stem gives off many branches, thus common snowberry plant resembles a bushy habit. Light pink flowers are borne in small spike inflorescence. It is best grown in moist and wet areas that receive partial shade to full sun.
Salmonberry is a common deciduous shrub for wet areas that can also tolerate full sun to complete shade condition. The blooms are large and borne singly, which ripen into berries after about a year. Based on the cultivar, flowers are either pink or purplish-red in color. Since these shrubs can tolerate standing water, you can grow them in the low-lying portions of the garden.
Winterberry is one of the most sought-after deciduous shrubs. This shrub grows well in partial shade to full sun, waterlogged soils, thus making an ideal landscaping plant for solving drainage problems. You can find winterberry shrubs growing in moist gardens, where other plants can hardly survive. Based on the growing site, the plant grows to about nine feet in height. The female plant bears attractive red berries.
Indian plum is a deciduous shrub native to the west coast. In the wild, it reaches about 15 feet in height. The blooming time for this shrub is early spring. The flowers are small, inconspicuous and whitish-green in color, which mature into small purple drupes.
It is quite obvious that most of these shrubs are native to wetlands and swampy areas. Always select shrubs that suit the climatic conditions and different types of soil of the area. Thus, before planting shrubs, make sure you also check the basic growing requirements for the particular shrub varieties.