Plants for Wet, Sticky Soil

Soil that is always moist can support many specialized plants that would be impossible to grow otherwise. Plants like these thrive in wet conditions.
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©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Bugle

Ajuga reptans ‘Burgundy Glow’; Justly renowned for tolerating poor, damp soil and full shade. H 6 in (15 cm); S 24–36 in (60–90 cm).

Aconite or Monkshood

Aconitum ‘Bressingham Spire’; A tall perennial with deep violet flowers that likes cool, moist soil and partial shade. H 3 ft (1 m); S 12 in (30 cm).

Rose

Rosa L’Aimant; A reliable, easy-to-grow rose with scented flowers and a tolerance for clay soils. H 3 ft (1 m); S 30 in (75 cm).

Astilbe

Astilbe x arendsii ‘Fanal’; Perennial with feathery, plumelike dark crimson flowers that will grow in fertile clay soil as long as it stays moist in summer. H 24 in (60 cm); S 18 in (45 cm).

Loosestrife

Lysimachia ciliata ‘Purpurea’; A perennial whose natural habitat is damp grassland or woodland, often near water. H 4 ft (1.2 m); S 24 in (60 cm).

Snowdrop

Galanthus nivalis Sandersii Group; Common snowdrops like heavy soil, as long as it doesn’t dry out, and partial shade. H 4 in (10 cm); S 1–3 ft (30 cm–1 m).

Joe Pye Weed

Eupatorium purpureum; Pink, pinkish purple, or creamy white flowers are borne from summer to early autumn. H 5 ft (1.5 m); S 12 in (30 cm).

Sedge

Carex pendula; Most sedges are found naturally in bog, moorland, or damp woodland, and should thrive in moist, clay soil. H to 5 ft (1.5 m); S to 5 ft (1.5 m).

Fishbone Cotoneaster

Cotoneaster horizontalis; An easy-to-grow shrub that should tolerate heavy, clay soil and partial shade. H 3 ft (1 m); S 15 ft (5 m).

Foxglove

Digitalis purpurea; A shade-loving biennial native to woodland. Purple, pink, or white flowers. H 3–6 ft (1–2 m); S to 24 in (60 cm).

Bergamot

Monarda ‘Mahogany’; Hardy perennial with ragged, wine-red flowers, tolerant of most soil types but needs to be kept moist in summer. H 36 in (90 cm); S 18 in (45 cm).

Persicaria

Persicaria affinis ‘Donald Lowndes’; Low-growing evergreen perennial that produces bottlebrush spikes of flowers. H to 8 in (20 cm); S 12 in (30 cm).

Quamash

Camassia leichtlinii ‘Semiplena’; Semidouble, creamy white flowers. Should grow well in clay soil to which grit has been added for better drainage. H 24 in–4 ft (60 cm–1.2 m); S 4 in (10 cm).

Marsh Marigold

Caltha palustris; Prefers bog conditions or very shallow water. Waxy yellow flowers in spring. H 4–16 in (10–40 cm); S 18 in (45 cm).

Rodgersia

Rodgersia pinnata ‘Superba’; A perennial ideal for growing near water, or in damp woodland. Horse-chestnut-like leaves and tall clusters of flowers. H to 4 ft (1.2 m); S 30 in (75 cm).

Aruncus

Aruncus aethusifolius; Small, compact perennial that positively likes moist, heavy soil. Creamy white flowers appear in early summer. H 10–16 in (25–40 cm); S 16 in (40 cm).