20 Shrubs That Like Wet Soil And Full Sun

Various types of landscapes each have their own hurdles when it comes to choosing appropriate plants that will thrive, but one of the most difficult situations to find shrubs for is an area that is open sunlight but that stays wet, or even boggy. Thankfully, we were able to find a collection of shrubs that love this type of environment.

Whether you live in a tropical area or just have a sunny backyard with a draining issue, you're going to find this list of shrubs that like wet soild and full sun useful.

20 Shrubs That Like Wet Soil and Full Sun

1. Buttonbush

Buttonbush is a wetland shrub. It thrives in ditches as well as alongside lakes and rivers.

`A butterfly on a buttonbush plant

While you won't be able to find buttonbush growing naturally in the North American Northwest, you'll be able to spot its thistled clusters just about everywhere else. The buttonbush loves warm temperatures but it doesn't do well in the face of droughts.

Button Bush

The buttonbush is also a favorite of bees. The shrub produces bulb-like flowers that are rich in nectar and pollen. If you want to attract bees to your area while also seeking out a little bit of additional privacy.

You can find buttonbush growths through Amazon here.

2. Red Osier Dogwood

Red osier dogwood shrubs look more like trees than they do shrubs. These deciduous growths have a significant spread and can grow up to twelve feet tall.

Red Osier Dogwood (Cornus sericea) Flower Detail

Plant a red osier dogwood if you want to color your landscape all year long. In the spring and early summer, the shrub produces small, white berries. Come fall, the dogwood's red branches produce equally-colorful leaves. That red coloring of the red osier dogwood's bark stands out in the winter.

Red Twig Dogwood Shrub/Bus

You can find red osier dogwood growths through Amazon here.

3. Tatarian Dogwood

The Tatarian dogwood is the Asian cousin of the red osier dogwood. Like the red osier, the Tatarian has brightly colored bark that makes it stand out against a winter landscape.

Close up of the plum coloured autumn leaves of the deciduous garden shrub Cornus alba Baton Rouge or Tatarian dogwood with berries.

The berries that this dogwood produces are a favorite of birds in the spring and winter. If you want to see the wildlife up close, you'll want to plant these shrubs near your windows. Be aware, though, that they make excellent screens - in getting a closer look at the birds, you may end up obscuring your view.

Red-Osier Dogwood Seeds

You can find Tatarian dogwood stems through Amazon.

4. Winterberry

You'll most likely find winterberry shrubs in the swampy parts of Northeastern America. The female plants produce the species' iconic berries come wintertime, while the male plants will remain barren.

Ilex verticillata, the winterberry, is a species of holly native to eastern North America in the United States and southeast Canada, from Newfoundland west to Ontario and Minnesota, and south to Alaba

Like many of the plants on this list, winterberry shrubs thrive when planted in the low spots of your yard. Place them alongside drainage ditches to create beautiful hedges and to attract birds in the wintertime. Winterberry shrubs are heartier than most, so you'll be able to plant them in soil that drains less well and still see them thrive.

Ilex verticillata Little Goblin RedIf you're interested in integrating these shrubs into your landscaping, you can find them through Amazon.

5. Yaupon Holly

You wouldn't guess from the pictures, but yaupon holly can readily double as a tree in your yard. While miniature variations of the shrub are available, these shrubs can grow up to 45 feet in height. Check with your local nursery ahead of time to ensure that you're not mixing up the weeping, columnar, or dwarf forms.

A bush of Yaupon Holly

Like the winterberry, yaupon holly shrubs also have identifiable genders. The female of the species will produce berries over the course of an entire year, while the male will remain barren.

Yaupon Bordeaux Dwarf Holly

If you're craving coffee in the morning but haven't gone to the grocery store, you're in luck. Yaupon holly shrubs contain caffeine in their twigs and leaves.

You can find yaupon holly growths available through Amazon.

6. Meadow Rue

Unlike some of the shrubs already mentioned on this list, meadow rue is unlikely to blossom out and take up a significant amount of your garden space. Instead, this shrub is prized for its slender and tall build.

A close up photo of a Meadow Rue

Come spring and early summer, you'll be able to spot tiny lavender flowers among meadow rue's purple stems. These blooms will eventually fade away, and the coloration of the shrub will fade to a lacy teal.


Meadow rue does not do well in the midst of droughts or humid weather. Unfortunately, they do not respond well to being kept inside, so if your local climate doesn't meet the shrub's needs, you won't see successful growth.

If you think you live in a climate that'll help these shrubs thrive,

You can find meadow rue growths or seeds through Amazon.

7. Sweetspire

Sweetspires make excellent, moisture-loving shrubs for beginning gardeners. Plant them in a place where they can receive full sunlight, and come springtime, you'll see bright, white flowers start to appear.

tea virginica, Virginia sweetspire. Multiple inflorescences pointed to the left.

While a sweetspire's flowers don't have a particularly strong scent, they're prime real estate for your local bee population. Sweetspires make excellent pollinator shrubs, and if you're looking to reinvigorate your local bee population, you'll want to include them in your local ecosystem.

Proven Winners

Pollination isn't the only trick that these shrubs have up their sleeve. Sweetspire shrubs burst into color come fall. The dagger-like leaves turn various shades of orange and red, adding a pop of color to your border that'll stand out until the early frosts start to settle in.

You can find sweetspire shrubs through Amazon.

8. Red and Black Chokeberry

Red and black chokeberries vary only in the color of berry they produce.

A chokeberry placed on a flat log

Both variations of the plant are particularly hardy and will produce blossoms, berries, or notable colors for three seasons out of the four.

Black Chokeberry Seeds

While these shrubs are native to the Chicago area, they'll thrive wherever they can rest in wet soil. Plant these shrubs in a primarily shady spot, but rest assured - they'll survive warmer days without wilting.

You can find chokeberry growths through Amazon.

9. Sweetshrub

If you're looking for a shrub with a bright smell and equally-bright flowers, then the sweetshrub will make an excellent addition to your landscaping.

Eastern sweetshrub (Calycanthus floridus). Called Carolina spicebush also

This shrub can reach heights of 9 feet, but its sprawl is more impressive. If you're looking for a shrub to provide you with additional privacy, the sweet shrub's 12-foot reach will keep prying eyes away from your home.

Aphrodite Sweetshrub

That said, these shrubs are somewhat slow-growing. They tend to grow at a rate of a foot a year, depending on the weather. Plant a sweetshrub in partial shade and moist soil to ensure its healthiest growth.

You can find beginner sweetshrub growths through Amazon.

10. Summersweet

Like the sweetshrub, summersweet shrubs give off a fruity smell courtesy of their white flowers. You'll be able to spot these blooms appearing in your garden come mid to late summer.

Summersweet flowers with green leaves and blurred background

Summersweet shrubs thrive in partial shade to full sunlight, and, like the other shrubs on this list, can beautiful the low spots in your lawn. The shrubs won't grow to exceptional heights, but they'll provide enough presence to keep eyes off of your lawn.

Sweet Summer Love

You'll see this shrub's green leaves turn a golden yellow in the fall, adding to its aesthetic appeal. If you want to integrate a summersweet into your hedge-line or borders.

You can find growths through Amazon.

11. Silky Dogwood

Silky dogwood shrubs are among the more tolerant shrubs. They can endure the occasional drought as well as the rare flood, and they grow equally well in clay soil as they do in alkaline soil.

Silky dogwood fruits (Cornus amomum)

These shrubs aren't overlarge, making them perfect for window-dressing. They produce white bundles of flowers that stand out against the burgundy of their stems.

Silky dogwood flowers (Cornus amomum)

You'll invite a number of butterflies and bees to your yard when you plant silky dogwood shrubs. While their white flowers only bloom in late spring to early summer, they produce enough pollen to keep any insect ecosystem happy.

12. Possumhaw

Possumhaw is more commonly known for its affiliation with the holly family. This deciduous shrub is more frequently considered a tree than it is a shrub thanks to its max height of 30 feet. Even so, you can prune this shrub back to keep it at a more manageable height.

Possumhaw (Ilex decidua and cvs.) fruiting in East Grinstead

The clusters of flowers that this shrub produces transform into red and black berries in the wintertime. Like a few of the other shrubs on this list, though, these berries will only appear on the female of the species.

Possum Haw Holly Tree Seeds Generic

These berries will attract more than just birds to your yard. Opossums and raccoons are also fans of the possumhaw shrub, thus the shrub's name. However, if these critters aren't native to your area, you won't have to worry about their presence transforming your yard.

You can find possumhaw seeds through Amazon.

13. Laurel

Laurel shrubs have a max height of 16 feet and, like many of their moisture-loving cousins, thrive when planted in moist soil.

Laurel leaves, hedge of green laurel bushes, in park

You'll be able to determine the health of the laurels you plant in your yard based on the appearance of the shrub's small, yellow flowers.

Greenbox Bay Laurel Herb Pot Set

That said, don't fret too much over the health of your laurel shrubs. These shrubs are especially hearty and can survive short bursts of heat and drought, so long as they're well-cared for.

If you want to introduce a laurel to your yard.

You can find them available through Amazon.

14. Inkberry

Inkberries are another variation on the traditional holly shrub. These shrubs are shorter than many of their peers, growing only up to 8 feet tall.

Close-up of inkberry leaves and berries

The inkberry holly will maintain its leaves over the course of a winter - but only if the temperature doesn't drop below zero degrees Fahrenheit. So long as you plant them in appropriately moist areas, you'll be able to enjoy their unique coloration through the winter and into the following spring, when they'll produce their signature green-and-white flowers.

Inkberry Holly

You can find inkberry holly shrub growths through Amazon.

15. Spicebush

Spicebush shrubs are unlikely to grow more than 15 feet tall, but they'll still provide your home with the privacy you need. Plant them in the low areas of your yard to see the best growth.

Closeup of Spicebush (Lindera benzoin) flowers blooming

Once again, these shrubs grow differently depending on their gender. You'll need male and female spicebush shrubs in your yard to see the females produce fruit.

Lindera Benzoin (Spicebush) Shrub

If you're not interested in fruit, try introducing male spicebushes to your yard. These shrubs produce larger flowers than their female counterparts and will lend more beauty to your landscaping.

Spicebush shrubs of both genders are available through Amazon.

16. Barberry

Barberries are among the most deer-resistant of moisture-loving shrubs, meaning their bright colors will last a long time in your yard.

Beautiful barberries in sunny August

These shrubs will lose their leaves in the wintertime. During the other seasons, though, you'll be able to enjoy their purple hues as well as their red blossoms.

Sunjoy Mini Maroon

You can find these most popular shrubs through Amazon.

17. Swamp Azalea

Otherwise known as clammy azaleas, these shrubs don't have much in the way of height. However, swamp azaleas can grow to be 12 feet wide.

A closeup of swamp azalea flower in green leaves

Come fall, you'll see the coloration of these shrubs shift from a deep green to orange and a purple-ish red.

Azalea \'Mandarin Lights

Swamp azaleas also produce white, sweet-smelling flowers in the springtime, allowing them to lend additional color to your landscaping.

Growths of these shrubs are available through Amazon.

18. Highbush Blueberry

Want to grow a shrub that'll feed more than just birds? The highbush blueberry shrub offers you privacy, thanks to its height, and a snack in the late summer months.

Highbush blueberry plant with fruits on branch growing in the garden.

Unfortunately, if you live on top of clay soil, you won't see the successful growth of highbush blueberry shrubs.

Vaccinium corymbosum \'Patriot\'

You can find highbush blueberry growths through Amazon.

19. Cranberry Bush

bush cranberries on a stump

Cranberry bushes can grow up to 15 feet tall and resemble maples, if not observed closely.

You'll spot white flowers growing off of this shrub in the springtime. Come summer, you'll be able to harvest the red cranberries, though be careful to ensure they haven't been exposed to pesticides before you eat them.

Cotoneaster adpressus \'Little Gem

If you want to intertwine a cranberry bush with your hedge.

Growths are available through Amazon.

20. Arrowwood Viburnum

Last but not least comes the arrowwood viburnum shrub. This rounded shrub delights homeowners with its ever-changing colors. Arrowwood viburnum shrubs are green in the summer, but come fall they turn yellow and purple.

Macro of flowers on a Arrowwood viburnum shrub

Arrowwood viburnums also make excellent homes for any butterflies you want to draw to your garden. They can grow up to 15 feet in height and pollinate well enough to provide butterflies of all species with enough food to happily live out their life cycle or pass through on migration.

Arrowwood Viburnum

The blackberries that this shrub produces also make excellent snacks for birds in the summertime. If you want to diversify the wildlife you see in your lawn, you can find arrowwood viburnum growths through Amazon.

Planning on adding shrubs to your garden? You may find these lists useful too –

15 Low Maintenance Evergreen Shrubs For Your Garden

11 Shrubs for Shade That Grow Well in Zone 6

15 Tall and Narrow Shrubs for Screening Purposes

19 Dwarf Evergreen Shrubs for Full Sun

11 Fast-Growing Evergreen Shrubs That Look Great All Year Long

15 Tall Shrubs for Shade That You Need to Try in Your Garden

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