How to Grow Marsh Plants


How to Grow Marsh Plants

How to Grow Marsh Plants
How to Grow Marsh Plants

There are many plants that thrive in marshes and many require little care. A marsh is a transitional area between water and land. Before growing anything, you need to first identify the types of plants that can thrive in this wet environment, whether it is a saltwater marsh or a freshwater marsh. Some of these species include cattails, lilypads, and duckweeds. These types of plants, which thrive in extremely wet conditions, require very little maintenance.

Some different types of plants that are water-loving and can survive in freshwater marshes, although not specifically considered to be marsh plants, are Bur Marigolds and California Aster. Trees like weeping willows also grow well in these types of environments. The success of your plants in marsh environments depends entirely upon the species and the specific conditions each species requires. For example, with the bur marigold, it’s one requirement is that it be placed in a sunny location. Other plants, such as California Aster, need pruning to ensure their full potential. You will need to carefully read the nursery label if buying already potted plants, or read the instructions on their seed packets to ensure successful establishment. Helenium also tolerates seasonal flooding.

To create a beautiful but also structurally beneficial element to the marsh area, you should choose plants that vary in sizes, mixing in high marsh plants with low marsh plants and planting rows of two or three. Most marsh plants will require holes to be made with plugs inserted and all air pockets to be removed via a thorough drenching of the soil.

Marshes are generally stereotyped negatively, but that doesn’t have to be the case. If you select the right species of plants and care for them properly, you can transform your waterlogged area into a truly beautiful sight.

Popular Marsh Plants

If you live in a marshy area, it can be difficult to know the popular plants. Most plants do not thrive in wet, soggy conditions. Despite the limited capabilities for planting in marshy areas, there are several plants that thrive in such an environment. These plants will be easier to find if you visit specialty or regional nurseries.

Stream Orchid

The stream orchid is a wonderful choice for saturated land and marshes. It features exotic yellow blooms with red accents. Since these flowers cannot tolerate any drought whatsoever, they’ll thrive in a marshy environment.


A perennial herb with red, tubular flowers, lobelia is a stunning addition to any marsh or bog. It’s best known for attracting masses of hummingbirds. Since it grows well and flowers in sun and shade, it’s a truly versatile and easily maintained plant.

Cat Tail

Cattails are the most popular marsh plants of all. These medium-height plants grow all over the United States and Europe and feature green foliage and cylindrical, fuzzy brown tops. Many birds and animals use them for shelter and nesting, so if you’re concerned with keeping the wildlife away, this is probably not the best plant to choose.

Common Reed

Though popular, the common reed is an invasive species and will take over other plants in your marsh. They can grow up to 16 feet tall and develop extensive root systems that are hard to get rid of. Since this plant severely decreases biodiversity, it should never be planted, and you should make efforts to eradicate the plant if possible.

Pacific Blackberry

Pacific blackberries need a lot of water and are suitable for most marshes. They feature dark green foliage, and if planted in a sunny location, they will bear fruit.

Meadow Barley

Meadow barley is a tall grass featuring plumed tips that grow well in marshy conditions. It can also be grown next to ponds and streams.

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