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Plants For Flood Prone Areas

Choosing and positioning the right plants in the right areas of your garden can transform rain impact. Shake off your umbrella and settle in for our guide to dealing with heavy rain in your garden.

Can plants control flooding?

The best plants for flood control in your garden are ones that are capable of capturing a large volume of water. Plants can help to reduce the impacts of heavy rain and minimize overall risk to your green spaces. However, extended periods of heavy rain or flooding will make it difficult for even the hardiest of rain-friendly plants to survive, since the roots may perish.

Which plants are good for flood prone areas?

Our advice for choosing plants in your garden is to consider the characteristics of your space first. If you know you have lots of clay soils (most susceptible to waterlogging) or often deal with flooding, it’s best to pick plants that are happier in damper conditions. We’ve picked some of our favourite plants that work well in flood prone areas below:

Thriving in wet, soggy soil, this distinct corkscrew rush brings plenty of personality to the margins of ponds and moist borders. Its unusual, spirally curled, leafless stems are sure to get the neighbours talking!

Juncus effusus ‘Spiralis’ - Plants for moist soil, bog and flood prone gardens

Nicknamed the water avens, this lovely little perennial is happiest in moisture retentive soil. It produces rounded mounds of mid-green foliage, perfect for ground cover where other plants often struggle. Wiry stems emerge with immense grace, blooming with long-lasting, arching flowers that are loved by bees.

Geum rivale ‘Leonard’s Variety’ - Plants for moist soil, bog and flood prone gardens

Bring a tropical feel to your garden with the enormous, bold leaves of this Japanese Giant butterbur. Suited to growing in damp boggy gardens, its alluring mass of foliage is at home in soils with a high moisture content.

Petasites japonicus ‘Giganteus’ - Plants for moist soil, bog and flood prone gardens

Forming dense clumps of weed-suppressing foliage, this protected plant offers maximum pleasure for minimum maintenance. All summer long, tapered spikes of deep red flowers emerge, providing food for nectar searching wildlife. This vigorous variety performs well in boggy soils, great for carpeting a water’s edge with colour.

Persicaria amplexicaulis ‘JS Calor’ PBR - Plants for moist soil, bog and flood prone gardens

This moisture-loving perennial can be relied upon to brighten damp areas of the garden with its cheery orange flowers in mid-summer. Plant en masse in a bog garden or at the edge of a pond for a joyful display.

Trollius ‘Golden Queen' - Plants for moist soil, bog and flood prone gardens

Looking for more inspiration? Click here to see all the rain-friendly plants we’re currently loving!

How do I protect my plants from flooding?

  • Try introducing raised beds into your garden. Placing the soil above general ground levels will aid drainage.
  • If your garden is prone to flooding, research “rain gardens”. You’ll find some wonderful inspiration on how to tackle surface water runoff!
  • Check plant pot drainage holes are able to drain effectively without blockages.

Gardening in wet weather | Plants for heavy rain

What should I do after heavy rain in my garden?

  • Avoid standing on wet soil where possible. Additional pressure will increase the risk of compaction.
  • Check drains and the surrounding areas for potential blockage sources.
  • Rain may wash away beneficial nutrients for your plants. When the soil is workable again, add some organic fertiliser to replenish their feed.


Good luck gardening in the rain!