Advice & Guides

Top 10 Moisture-Loving Plants

My Top 10 Moisture-Loving Plants

For a lot of people a constantly damp or boggy soil is potentially a problem, but that needn’t be the case. There are many plants that will survive and indeed thrive in such conditions. I am going to list and explain why I feel these plants should be considered for your own garden if you have a wet soil.

Top 10 Moisture-Loving Plants

1)     Astilbe

A great plant to grow because of its unusual looking blooms and long flowering period. Deeply toothed leaves emerge in early spring and by summer, large feathery plumes stand handsomely above the foliage. They contrast nicely with large, broad-leaved plants like hostas and will grow and flower in shade but ideally require full sun to get to their full size. Astilbes won’t tolerate a dry soil so underlying moisture is just what they need.

2)     Astrantia

Another plant with a long flowering season. Astrantias have an endearing quality and although often grown as a ‘cottage-garden’ plant, they are much better suited to cool, damper conditions. There will be many pincushion-like flowers on one plant and they will do well in shade and sun alike.

Top 10 Moisture-Loving Plants

3)     Gunnera

The gigantic G. manicata or G. tinctoria make the list simply because of their size and grandure. They can bring a tropical feeling to temperate gardens but in no way, is this a plant for a small plot. Chunky, bristly stalks can carry leaves that measure to nearly four feet across whilst curious reddish flowers lurk beneath. It’s important that before the cold of winter sets in that the large red crowns are covered over and protected from frosts. You can use straw but here we choose to use the large leaves themselves, turned upside down like a hat.

4)     Helenium

Sun and a damp soil is all these daisies will need. The flowers bring a bright, fiery zing to the border from mid to late summer. They can be ‘Chelsea chopped’ if you’d like them kept shorter and more compact.

5)     Lythrum

On the list because of the stunning spikes of pink flowers and its ability to naturalise on the edges of ponds and waterways. It’s nectar-rich flowers keep the pollinators happy and its foliage turns an attractive reddish colour in autumn. A beautiful plant.

6)     Molinia

Of all the grasses that like a retentive soil, molinias are perhaps the most elegant. On still autumn days in low autumn light, once the arching stems have started to turn golden brown, they help bring a sense of timelessness to the garden. There are many different varieties but if you have the space, then the larger ones are the most desirable. 

Top 10 Moisture-Loving Plants

7)     Persicaria

One of my favourite herbaceous perennials.In particular, P. amplexicaulis. All amplexicaulis knotweeds are extremely long flowering and easy to grow in a sunny or partly shaded spot. They’re quick to fill a space and create a big impression from midsummer through to late autumn. P. bistorta ‘Superba’ offers a beautiful soft pink in spring that goes very nicely with trollius.

8)     Rodgersia

Very attractive foliage plants that look great beside a stream, lake or pond. With their large horse chestnut shaped leaves, it’s best to allow plenty of space around them. They grow best in shade but will do equally well in sun providing the soil is moist enough. Well worth a place in your garden if the space allows.

9)     Rudbeckia

Black-eyed Susan is another daisy that is a real showstopper throughout autumn, especially en masse. With their large golden yellow petals and dark brown, almost black centres they are a bright, bold perennial for the border. Not particularly difficult to grow, and not particularly different or unusual, but still deserving of its spot in the top ten.

Top 10 Moisture-Loving Plants

10)  Trollius

In the wild these plants grow in wet, grassy meadows. They form strong clumps of handsome foliage and have yellow or orange globe-like flowers that really catch the eye in late spring. Trollius have a reputation for being difficult to grow but so long as they are in a cool position in soil that doesn’t dry out in summer they will be fine.

Top 10 Moisture-Loving Plants

Comments (3)

Thanks for advice I really miss the gunnera I passed on to someone but now I realise it's a shade lover will get another to take its place xx
Lynne Beckett | 18/06/2019
r aspidistra) and the Victorians loved austerity. This super hardy plant can tolerate almost anything, including your bathroom. For best results, let the soil dry out completely between waterings.
Vibrators | 01/06/2019
Very helpful advice
Jean Lofts | 29/04/2018
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