If you have a wet spot in your yard, you may want to add plants to absorb some of the excess water. Most plants do not do well in these conditions and wet spots can lead to rot and other diseases.
If you are looking for plants that absorb a lot of water, the following ten plants are a great choice.
1 – Ferns
Many different ferns can tolerate excessive moisture in the ground and they can be planted at the edge of ponds or in very wet areas.
There are some ferns, such as the Christmas fern, that need dry shady areas but any of the following ferns will thrive in damp conditions:
- Cinnamon fern
- Royal fern
- Ostrich fern
- Sensitive fern
- Lady fern
- Painted fern
- Marsh fern
- Holly fern
Most ferns have dense root systems and water-absorbing foliage and they are able to absorb a lot of water. If you choose taller types of fern, it will absorb more water.
The Ostrich fern (available from Nature Hills Nursery), for example, can grow to a height of 3 – 6 feet, making it a great plant to soak up lots of water.
They have extensive root systems that draw water up and transport it through the dense foliage and they will suck up a lot of water.
Ferns are also great to have indoors in rooms with extra moisture, like a kitchen or bathroom.
2 – Lily of the Valley
Lily of the Valley is a perennial plant that spreads rapidly by spreading underground stems with upright shoots.
It has been around since at least 1000 BCE and they bloom in the spring and early summer. They thrive in US hardiness zones 2 through 7.
These attractive, fragrant plants prefer partial shade and they need moist soil. They are easy to grow.
You should plant them in the late fall because the cool temperatures will allow the necessary dormancy period.
The single rhizomes of the plant are called pips. They can be divided after November or December and then the new divisions can be planted.
It is important to note that this is a poisonous plant so it should be kept away from pets and children. If you have wet spots in the yard, this plant will absorb a lot of water.
3 – Daylilies
Daylilies have been around for centuries and there are 15 original species along with over 35,000 hybrids. They are perennials.
You can find premium quality bareroot daylilies on amazon.
The blooms last one day but one mature clump can produce 200 to 400 blooms over a month.
They are easy to care for, and they are extremely hardy. They survive well with little attention.
The best time to plant daylilies is early spring or late fall.
You should add organic matter if your soil is sandy or heavy clay. They are adaptable but they do prefer soil that is slightly acidic.
They require at least six hours of sun and morning sun is ideal for this plant. They can be divided every three or four years.
When you plant daylilies, you need to dig the hole twice as wide and deep as the root spread.
You should water them well as they absorb a lot of water. It will take a few weeks for the roots to be established.
Once they are growing, you can remove the seed pods so that they bloom well.
You should remove dead leaves when you see them.
They grow thick so they will shade out surrounding weeds.
4 – Indian Grass
Indian grass is a type of grass that absorbs a lot of water. It is native to North America.
It is a warm-season grass that forms clumps in areas of the Midwest. It is known for its height and its ornamental leaves.
The leaves are 3/8 inch wide and 18 inches long and they have thin tips.
Indian grass can grow up to six feet and it provides shade to foliage in autumn.
It prefers full sun and it will soak up water. It thrives in deep, moist loam soil but it can survive in sandy or clay soil as well.
This grass is nutritious and can be consumed by domestic and wild animals.
It provides an ornamental border in a garden and it can help stabilize soil where erosion has taken place. It grows well in floodplain prairies and along low-elevation areas.
Indian grass has rhizomes that start growing in the late spring and continue through early winter.
This grass is hardy and will grow easily. Once it is established, it requires very little care.
5 – Cattails
Cattails thrive around ponds and damp areas because they love water. They do so well that they can be difficult to control.
Every part of this plant brings a benefit to a number of species, including humans.
They are tall and sturdy and they can grow up to ten feet tall.
Cattails have rhizomatous roots and long flat leaves. They will grow anywhere that supplies them with a constant source of water.
They can live in ponds and will attract small fish and other species that wildlife can feed on.
They provide shelter from the wind and nesting materials for birds and they will draw a lot of wildlife to your pond.
People use cattails to weave baskets and mats. In this video from Peasantartcraft, you can see some wonderful basket weaving in detail.
The entire plant is edible. People boil roots and grind cattail into a powdery type of flour.
This plant also has industrial uses, including being distilled into ethyl alcohol or stems used in making shaving cream. It is an extremely useful plant that grows well in very wet conditions.
The cattail reproduces very quickly and it can take over a pond in just a few years. If you have cattail, you will need to take steps to control it.
You can use herbicides to control the spread. For example, Diquat is a contact herbicide that will kill the green part of the plant but not the root and is safe for use in ponds.
If you don’t want to use herbicides, you can strategically dig them up to thin out the population.
If you already have a large area of overgrowth, you can drown them by cutting off the part above water. They won’t survive without exposure to air.
6 – Iris
The iris plant provides beautiful blooms in late winter through early spring. They can provide color to your flower bed during these times.
Once you have established the plant, they require very little care and they multiply easily. They also absorb a lot of water.
The bearded iris is the most common variety in the United States. They range in height from three inches to four feet.
They bloom in shades of blue, purple, white, and yellow and there are hybrid versions as well.
The yellow Harvest of Memories Tall Bearded Iris grows to 3 feet tall and can bring happiness to a wet area. Find it at Nature Hills Nursery.
You should plant irises in a sunny area that has rich soil that drains well.
You need to leave room between the rhizomes and cover them but do not bury them. If they are completely buried, you could end up with a case of root rot.
Do not remove the yellow foliage as the blooms fade because it provides nutrients for next year’s blooms. This is important because they need these nutrients.
If the ground is dry, they need to be watered because these plants require a lot of water. If you live in a wet area or have a wet spot where they grow, irises require very little maintenance.
7 – Elephant Ear
The elephant ear plant has large tropical foliage that can add to any landscape.
They come in different colors and sizes and they are used as ground covers or background plants.
They are commonly used as a focal point.
It is easy to grow elephant ears. They do well in rich, moist soil and can be grown in full sun. Plant the tubers two to three inches deep after frosts have ceased for the year.
They require very little care but you will need to water them during a dry spell because they need a lot of water.
They cannot survive freezing temperatures so you will need to dig them up and store them indoors during these times.
8 – Monkey Flower
Monkey flowers do well in moist areas and they bloom spring through fall.
They are found in marshes, stream banks, and wet meadows. If you have a wet area in your garden, these flowers will absorb a lot of water and make an attractive border.
They are native North American flowers that do best in hardiness zones three through nine.
They are also an important host for Baltimore and Common Buckeye butterflies.
You should space them according to the size of the plant and they need partial shade, especially in the afternoon.
These plants require very little care if your soil is moist. You will need to water them if the soil becomes dry. As long as they have plenty of water, they are easy to maintain.
9 – Trumpet Creeper
Trumpet creeper is a vine plant with beautiful flowers and it is a fast-growing perennial.
This is a great plant for growing on fences and arbors where you have a lot of moisture.
The biggest problem this plant has is that it can be invasive if it is not controlled. You will need to prune this vine so that it doesn’t take over the garden.
This plant is known for attracting hummingbirds and butterflies to your garden.
Its flowers bloom through the summer into the fall and they are colored shades of yellow, orange and red.
The plant does well in hardiness zones four through nine, either in partial or full sun. It can adapt to nearly any soil.
The trumpet creeper requires little care once it is growing but you will need to prune it or it can take over the entire yard or garden.
The best time to prune is the early spring but you can prune it again in the fall if necessary.
10 – Carolina Jessamine
The Carolina jessamine has stems that can grow to twenty feet in length and it will climb any surface it can.
These vines are covered in clusters of yellow flowers in the late winter and early spring.
They are native to the southeastern United States and they do not survive a frost. This plant is rated for hardiness zones seven through nine.
Although this plant can tolerate drought, it thrives in wet conditions. It can absorb a lot of water and will grow and spread rapidly.
You will need to prune this plant to keep it under control. You can cut them back to three feet above the ground at the end of the season to keep them under control.
Growing up with a mom who filled her home (inside and out) with all sorts of plants, Lisa got her start in gardening at a young age. Living now on her own with a home and yard full of plants (including an indoor greenhouse), she shares all the gardening tips she’s gained over the years.