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Plants That Can Stand Water

By T.M. Samuels ; Updated September 21, 2017

Wet-soil plants can grow and thrive in conditions that would normally spell the end to another garden. Plants that can stand water are especially nice for that swampy, boggy spot in the landscape that would rot other plants. Plants that can thrive in wet soil are many types of grasses and cannas.

Giant Reed

Giant reed, or Arundo donax, is from the Poaceae/Gramineae, or grass, family. It is a fast-growing perennial that can reach 20 feet tall with leaves 12 to 24 inches long. A 1- to 2-foot purple plume will rise above its foliage. Plant a giant reed in full sun in standing water or very moist soil. Propagate via rooting stems or spring rhizome division.

Giant Miscanthus

Giant miscanthus, or Miscanthus floridulus, is from the Poaceae/Gramineae, or grass, family. It will get 15 feet tall with an 8-foot spread. Leaves are deep green and flat, 3 feet long and 1.5 inches wide. In summer and fall the plant has 18- to 20-inch silver plumes rising above leaves. Plant a giant miscanthus in full sun and very wet soil. Propagate by root crown division.

Golden Canna

Golden canna, or Canna flaccida, is from the Cannaceae, or canna, family. It will get up to 4 feet tall with leaves up to 2 feet long. Yellow flowers on a terminal cluster will get 3 inches wide. Plant a golden canna plant in full sun in moist soils. Propagate by rhizome division.

Louisiana Iris

Louisiana iris, or Iris Louisiana hybrids, is from the Iridaceae, or iris, family. It is a perennial that will get 3 feet tall and 3 feet wide with flowers on 2- to 3-foot stems. Flower colors are varied. Plant a Louisiana iris in shade or sun in moist soil or standing water. Propagate via rhizome division or by seed.

Cardinal Flower

Cardinal flower, or Lobelia cardinalis, is from the Campanulaceae, or bellflower, family. It is a perennial that attracts hummingbirds to the garden. Cardinal flower gets 1 to 3 feet tall with red tubular flowers and purple-tinted leaves. Plant a cardinal flower in full sun or partial shade in moist soil. Propagate via seed or basal offshoot separation.


About the Author


T.M. Samuels has been a freelance writer since 1993. She has published works in "Arthritis Today," "Alabama Living" and "Mature Years," and is the author of a gardening book. Samuels studied pre-medicine at Berry College.