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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.
Buttonbush is a wetland shrub. It thrives in ditches as well as alongside lakes and rivers.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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,
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.
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.
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.
8. Red and Black Chokeberry
Red and black chokeberries vary only in the color of berry they produce.
Both variations of the plant are particularly hardy and will produce blossoms, berries, or notable colors for three seasons out of the four.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Laurel shrubs have a max height of 16 feet and, like many of their moisture-loving cousins, thrive when planted in moist soil.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Barberries are among the most deer-resistant of moisture-loving shrubs, meaning their bright colors will last a long time in your yard.
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.
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.
Come fall, you’ll see the coloration of these shrubs shift from a deep green to orange and a purple-ish red.
Swamp azaleas also produce white, sweet-smelling flowers in the springtime, allowing them to lend additional color to your landscaping.
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.
Unfortunately, if you live on top of clay soil, you won’t see the successful growth of highbush blueberry shrubs.
19. Cranberry Bush
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.
If you want to intertwine a cranberry bush with your hedge.
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.
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.
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 –