Plants That Tolerate Water

Not every yard lends its self to perfect gardening conditions. There are times when standing water or slow drainage interferes with gardening. Rain gardens are popular for areas of the yard where water is an issue. There are plants that tolerate water and will grow to provide plenty of enjoyment for wet spaces. Installing a rain garden provides color and beauty in an otherwise problem area of the landscape.

Bog Plants

Wetlands are full of plants that love water. The blooms are spectacular to behold. other bog foliage includes carnivorous plants which help control the insect population, such as pitcher plants. Yellow flags and Joe pye weed add color to the wet landscape. Dramatic plants which tolerate water include cattails and great lobelia. Pitcher plants tolerate water but may suffer during flooding conditions.


Water reduces the usable oxygen in soil for plants to grow. However, there are certain trees which thrive in such an environment. Willow trees can withstand long periods of standing water and will survive flooding. Red maples are also able to tolerate water. Certain trees like white spruce tolerate water but must also dry out occasionally. For better growing success, choose trees which have been grown in the same conditions where they will be planted.


Medium-sized shrubs round out the landscape full of trees and low-growing flowers. Shrubs that tolerate water help prevent soil erosion and also create a backdrop to other flowers and plants. The list of shrubs which grows well in moist conditions includes rose of Sharon, spicebush and elderberry. If there are flooding conditions, shrubs like winterberry and button bush do well.

Keywords: water tolerant plants, water plants, wetland plants, rain garden plants

About this Author

Julie Richards is a freelance writer from Ohio. She has been writing poetry and short stories for 30 years. Recently, Richards has written a variety of e-books and numerous articles on gardening, small business, and farming. She is currently enrolled at Kent State University completing her bachelor's degree in English.