Plants Suitable for Rain Gardens in South Carolina

South Carolina incorporates the USDA Hardiness Zones of 7a to 8b. For rain gardens a plant will need to be able to take very wet conditions and dry conditions. Plants suitable for rain gardens will need to be very adaptable. Plants for South Carolina rain gardens can be any adaptable plant in the 7a to 8b range, including any of these plants.

Wooly Congea

Wooly Congea is botanically known as Congea tomentosa. It is from the Verbenaceae, or the verbena, family. An evergreen vine, it has fuzzy stems and leaves and grows 20 feet long. Light green leaves are 6 to 8 inches long with tiny flowers. Blooming is in winter. Plant a wooly congea plant in any soil and full sun with regular watering. Propagate in summer with semi-ripe tip cuttings or by seed.

Bearded Iris

Bearded Iris is botanically known as Iris germanica. It is from the Iridaceae, or iris, family. It is a fragrant, easy-to-grow perennial. Flower stalks are 3 feet tall with leaves 2 feet long and sword shaped. Flower colors will vary. Plant a bearded iris in full morning sun or dappled shade with any soil type. Propagate via division of rhizomes.

Coral Vine

Coral Vine is botanically known as Antigonon leptopus. It is from the Polygonaceae, or buckwheat, family. It is an evergreen drought resistant vine that is fast growing and will attract butterflies. It can get 30 to 40 feet long with heart-shaped 4-inch leaves. Tiny flowers can be white to rose in color. Plant a coral vine plant in full sun in moist well drained soil. Propagate via half ripe summer cuttings or by seed.


Coriander/Cilantro is botanically known as Coriandrum sativum. It is from the Apiaceae/Umbelliferae, or carrot, family. Coriander is from the seeds and Cilantro from the leaves of this annual plant. It will attract butterflies. It will get to 2 to 3 feet high and 1 to 2 feet wide with lobed leaves 1 to 2 inches wide. White or pink flowers are 1 to 2 inches wide. Plant a Coriander/Cilantro in any soil in full or partial shade. Propagate via seed.

Screw Pine

Screw pine is botanically known as Pandanus utilius. It is from the Pandanaceae, or screw-pine, family. It is a drought resistant evergreen. It will get to 30 feet tall with dark green leaves 6 feet long. Plant a screw pine in full sun or partial shade with moisture in summer. Propagate via suckers or cuttings as well as seeds.

Keywords: rain gardens, plants suitable for rain gardens, plants for South Carolina

About this Author

Tina Samuels has been a full-time freelance writer for more than 10 years, concentrating on health and gardening topics, and a writer for 20 years. She has written for "Arthritis Today," "Alabama Living," and "Mature Years," as well as online content. She has one book, “A Georgia Native Plant Guide,” offered through Mercer University; others are in development.