Many yards have those spots that are often wet. It could be a water collection zone, an area that constantly gets sprayed, or just a target for most sprinkles.
At the end of the line, that area keeps getting a lot of water, and there isn’t much you can do about it. You want to plant it, but you know that the extra water will drown your plant.
So, what should you do? If you’re here, then you already know the answer; find plants that absorb lots of water!
If that’s your question, then we have 10 answers!
1 – Ferns
Many different ferns can tolerate excessive moisture in the ground and they can be planted at the edge of ponds or excessively wet areas
Keep in mind that there are some ferns, such as the Christmas Fern, that need dry shady areas. These won’t do too well in wet zones.
However, 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 of these ferns have dense root systems and water-absorbing foliage, allowing them 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.
Further, these ferns are great choices for 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.
This Lily has been around since at least 1000 BCE, and it blooms in the spring and early summer. The Lily of the Valley thrives 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.
Keep in mind that this is a poisonous plant. You should keep it 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. There are 15 original species along with over 35,000 hybrids. Daylilies are perennials, which means they can live more than two years with the proper care.
The blooms last one day but one mature clump can produce 200 to 400 blooms over a month. Daylilies are also easy to care for, and they are extremely hardy. They survive well with little attention. However, They require at least six hours of morning sun.
As for the best time to plant them, it’s the early spring or late fall. You can find premium quality bare-root daylilies on Amazon.
If you decide to plant them, you should add organic matter if your soil is sandy or heavy clay. They are adaptable but they do prefer slightly acidic soil.
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 can divide them every three or four years.
Important notes: You should remove dead or dying leaves from daylilies to allow them to bloom. You should also keep an extra eye for weeds, as they might be hidden under the thick foliage.
4 – Indian Grass
It is a warm-season grass that forms clumps in areas of the Midwest. It is known for its height and its ornamental leaves.
Indian grass can grow up to six feet and it provides shade to foliage in autumn. The leaves are 3/8 inch wide and 18 inches long and they have thin tips.
This grass type 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.
The best thing about this grass is that it’s resilient and will grow easily. Once it is established, it requires little care.
5 – Cattails
Cattails thrive around ponds and damp areas because they love water. They have rhizomatous roots and long flat leaves.
Cattails 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.
In fact, they do so well around water that they can be difficult to control. They reproduce fast, are tall and sturdy, and they can grow up to 10 feet tall.
Because of their height, cattails can provide shelter from the wind and nesting materials for birds. That will surely draw a lot of wildlife to your pond, so be ready for that!
They can also be used as food! The entire plant is edible. People boil roots and grind cattails 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.
Still, with all its benefits, you shouldn’t allow this plant to infest your pond. If you have cattails, 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. Iris flowers can provide color to your flower bed during these times.
Once you start growing them, they require little care. They also absorb a lot of water, which explains why they multiply so fast.
The bearded iris is the most common variety in the United States. They can be as short as three inches, or as tall as four feet! For example, the yellow Harvest of Memories Tall Bearded Iris grows to three feet tall and can bring happiness to a wet area. Find it at Nature Hills Nursery.
As for the color variety, Iris flowers bloom in shades of blue, purple, white, and yellow and there are hybrid versions as well.
If you decide to plant them, you should do so in a sunny area that has rich soil that drains well.
You need to leave room between the rhizomes and cover them without burying them. If they are completely buried, root rot may take over.
Also, don’t 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.
7 – Elephant Ear
They come in different colors and sizes, allowing you to use them as ground covers or background plants.
As with most plants on this list, it’s easy to grow elephant ear plants. 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.
Despite requiring little care, you must water them regularly during a dry spell because they need a lot of water.
They cannot survive freezing temperatures as well, 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 from spring through fall.
You can find them in marshes, stream banks, and wet meadows. If you have a damp 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. So expect even more colors around your garden once you plant them.
For maximum esthetics and ideal plant nutrition, you should space monkey flowers according to their sizes. Keep in mind that they need partial shade, especially in the afternoon. If they’re exposed to direct sun, the petals and leaves will scorch.
If your soil is often moist, watering monkey flowers will be a breeze. Still, you shouldn’t allow the soil to dry. If you start seeing cracks in the soil, then you’re not watering your flowers enough.
9 – Trumpet Creeper
The trumpet creeper is a vine plant with beautiful flowers. It’s a fast-growing perennial that’s great for growing on fences and arbors where a lot of moisture is present.
Much like cattails, 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 it doesn’t take over the garden.
On the bright side, this plant is known for attracting hummingbirds and butterflies to your garden. Enjoy both the visual and auditory beauty!
Its flowers bloom through the summer into the fall. The flowers are colored shades of yellow, orange, and red; peachy!
The plant does well in hardiness zones four through nine, either in partial or full sun. It can adapt to nearly any soil, making it one of the easiest plants to care for.
However, you will need to prune it constantly. Otherwise, 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 20 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 are rated for hardiness zones seven through nine. Keep in mind, though, they do not survive a frost.
Although this plant can tolerate drought, it thrives in wet conditions. It can absorb a lot of water and will grow and spread rapidly.
Much like the trumpet creeper vines, you should 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.