Plants for Wet Sites

Wet sites are often associated with low lying areas near water courses and especially with heavy clay soils with a high water table. Such areas are often prone to winter waterlogging and flooding, however, wet sites are not always caused by the water table and can be the result of poor drainage. When you have established which is the cause then improving the site can help before planting. On heavy clay soil which can be very heavy in winter and hard and unforgiving in summer adding a generous amount of organic matter to the planting site and as much surrounding area as possible will help.

Improving drainage will of course be beneficial forking drainage holes into the base and sides of prepared holes and raising beds or planting areas to allow a better drainage area below the roots. While there are many garden hedging plants and trees that are not suited to these harsher conditions such as Beech and Yew, the good news is there is a great selection of trees, shrubs and hedging plants that will revel in these wet boggy conditions!

Not many plants apart from those suited to bog gardens can sustain their roots being permanently wet but providing there is some oxygen in the soil then the following plants will cope with reasonably wet soil for example the Hornbeam (a great and very similar Beech substitute), Quickthorn and Blackthorn and our native hedgerow mixes an excellent evergreen choice would be the Western Red Cedar (Thuja Plicata Atrovirens) .

Many of our native plants and trees are suitable and of course the Willows and Dogwoods prized for their spectacular winter stem colours. Ornamental trees such Birch and Liquidambar will also tolerate these damper conditions but for a full list do please refer to the wet site list on our website.