What Grows Best in Wet Soil

Many plants are quite finicky about different factors, and one of those is the type of soil they are planted in. With too little moisture, some plants will shrivel up and die, but the same might happen with too much. It is quite challenging to find the right balance for plants, particularly if the type of soil that you have is consistently wet. As a gardener, you will need to pay much attention to moisture consistency in the soil.

Ideally, when growing vegetable crops and other plants, the soil should have a good water-holding and draining capacity. It should retain and drain water optimally. This way, plants will be able to carry out respiration and other physiological activities normally. If you have wet soil in your garden, there are many ways that you can do to improve drainage and help wet soil dry up more effectively. In addition to that, you also need to choose the ideal plants that can thrive best in that type of soil. 

If you are planning to start a garden but still wondering what plants you should pick to grow, we’re here to help you. In this post, we are giving you a list of the plants that grow best in wet soil. 

What is Wet Soil?

Soil certainly needs to be moist, as this is beneficial for growing plants. However, it will be a struggle to grow plants in soil that is overly wet. A balanced soil should contain 25% air and 25% water. When the soil is wet, it stays overly wet even when it has been a while since it last rained. It is a type of soil with poor drainage. 

Clay soils tend to drain poorly, while sandy soils drain very fast. It can also be connected to the layout of the land. When plants are grown in wet soil, they usually struggle with issues such as root rot. It is a fungal pathogen that thrives in wet conditions. Also, wet soils tend to lack beneficial microorganisms that are needed for the plants to stay healthy. 

There are easy ways to fix wet soil. However, most of the techniques take several gardening seasons to be effective. Also, they may not really work at all if you are growing in a place that is naturally swampy. One of the best ways is to plant a species that likes damper soil.

Vegetables That You Can Grow in Wet Soil

If you are thinking of starting a vegetable garden at home, but you have a wet type of soil, here are the best vegetables that you can choose to plant:

  • Tanier Spinach

This is a leafy green that is perennial. It actually does not mind being grown in the shade, making it great to grow in a waterlogged garden spot.  It can also be eaten raw. 

  • Rhubarb

rhubarb plant

This is a versatile vegetable that has edible stalks. There are lots of benefits when it comes to growing this vegetable in a wet garden. In addition to it not minding being a bit soggy, it also makes a great living mulch that can help improve the drainage of your soil over time.

  • Taro


Taro is a tropical plant that is grown for its edible roots. Its leaves can be eaten like spinach, but they should be cooked first. It is a good vegetable that can be grown in paddy fields or somewhere with abundant rainfall and constant moisture. 

  • Skirret Carrot

Skirret carrot can thrive when it is planted in wet soil. This is not a very common vegetable in the United States, but it is widely grown in China and Japan. It grows best in moist to wet soil in shaded areas. It can be prepared like how you would with regular carrots. You can roast, stew, or boil it. 

  • Cauliflower

cauliflower plant

This vegetable is cultivated for its edible head. It is a good vegetable to plant if you have a waterlogged garden spot. It can tolerate a reasonable space of wet soil or moisture. 

  • Celery


This is a wet soil-loving vegetable that can be grown in a waterlogged garden. It features long fibrous stalks or leaves that are eaten as vegetables.

  • Kang Kong

Kang Kong is a common vegetable grown in China. It is usually grown for its tender shoots. It thrives well in wet soil, and it’s a good choice for those who live in Asian and Australian countries.

  • Cabbage

cabbage plant

Cabbage is best grown by people who live near riverine areas or in an apartment that is waterlogged. This is a large green flowering and biennial vegetable that is grown for its dense leaved heads. 

Herb That Thrives in Wet Soil

mint plant

Most herbs out there prefer soil that is on the drier side, except for mint. Mint is an herb that grows insatiably, and it will keep on growing until it hits a rock. It is considered an invasive rock in most areas. Therefore, you should be careful when you plant it near other species. But planting mint in a wet garden is beneficial as it can help provide structure to a more barren area. It can also help reduce erosion and improve the drainage ability of overly wet soil over time. 

Fruits That Grow Best in Wet Soil

Here are some of the fruits that will grow well in wet soil:

  • Strawberries

Strawberries can also thrive in soil that is occasionally wet. It may not be as tolerant as other plants, but you can grow it in soil that eventually drains in 24 hours or so.

  • Red Raspberries

red raspberry plant

Red raspberries are usually grown in swampy areas. Therefore, it wouldn’t mind being planted in wet soil. You will get the best results when you grow the American red raspberry as it prefers wet soil compared to other varieties. Also, they are ever-bearing, giving you crops in the midsummer and later in the fall.

  • Pear Trees

pear fruit in a tree

Pears are known to be water-heavy fruits. Therefore, it is no surprise that pear trees also do well when they are grown in wetter soils. Growing pear trees may also help to mulch around the base of the tree while it is first establishing its roots. This will improve drainage and allow the tree to get off on the right root. 

  • Aronia Berries

Aronia berry tree

These are not common, but they are referred to as superfoods due to the high amounts of antioxidants that they contain. They also thrive in wet soils, and they like growing in acidic soil, too. They can be used in making preserves and smoothies. 

  • Fox Grapes

These grapes are native to eastern North America. One of the most popular varieties of fox grapes is the Concord grape. They can also grow well in soil that tends to stay a bit wet.

  • Highbush and Lowbush Cranberries

cranberry plant

Cranberries, both highbush and lowbush, can be grown in wet soils. In fact, most of them are grown in bogs. But lowbush cranberries are more typical and mostly grown in commercial or artificial bogs. 

Ornamental Plants That Grow in Wet Soil

If you are looking for some ornamental plants that you can plant and grow in wet soil, there are several to choose from. Some of the plants that can handle long periods of submersion and can grow well in swamps include marsh marigolds, Joe Pye weed, cardinal flower, pussy willow, and winterberry. All of these are beautiful plants that are low-maintenance and do not mind some serious water issues.


Wet soil is indeed a challenge for many gardeners. If you have wet soil in your garden, you don’t need to fret as they are also lots of ways to address wet soil. You can level it out to improve drainage, add some organic matter, use a broad fork to improve aeration, or maybe cut trees and remove vegetation for more sunlight to dry things out during the day. Plus, there are still many types of plants that you can choose that will thrive in wet soil, just like the ones we listed above. We hope this post helped you learn more about what grows best in wet soil.