Alphabetical Plant Listing

Bog Garden Plants

Bog Perennials, Bog Ferns, Bog Shrubs


Creating a bog garden is a terrific project that allows you to turn a slow-draining, waterlogged spot into a beautiful attraction, discover exciting plant species and attract wildlife to your garden.

Typically a bog garden consists of a shallow area adjoining a pond or other water feature. It may exploit existing poor drainage in the garden, can be created at the edge of a pond or water garden, or as a standalone feature. Permanently damp, it creates an area where moisture-loving plants will thrive and attract frogs, toads, dragonflies, damselflies while bees and butterflies will flit around the flowers.

Naturally damp clay soils are ideal, but you can create wet habitat in free-draining soil if you use a liner and introduce topsoil. You can even make a mini-bog in a container.

Bog gardens must always allow a small amount of seepage to prevent the water stagnating. Their minimum sustainable depth is 16–18 in. (40–45 cm).

Bringing a touch of boggy magnificence to your garden is easy. Late summer to early fall is the best time to begin, as your bog will be able to establish itself before winter. Spring is the best time to choose plants and plant a bog garden, as the plants will have enough time to root during the warmer months.

Choosing Bog Garden Plants

  • Bog plants love wet soil, but they do not tolerate standing water, particularly in the winter. If the ground has standing water that does not drain, pond marginals will be more suitable.
  • Bog plants thrive in soil with high nutrient levels and that contain lots of organic matter.
  • Useful to add splashes of color throughout the growing season with their lush foliage, variegated leaves or showy flowers, bog plants provide a colorful and dramatic planting opportunities. They can be perennials, ferns, shrubs or trees.
  • Select a combination of short and tall plants for cover and perches.
  • Choose plants so that there is a range of flowers throughout the year, from Marsh Marigold in spring, to Spotted Joe-Pye Weed in fall. 

There are many beautiful plants that will thrive in the moist environment provided by bog gardens. Here are excellent choices for a bog garden.

Guide Information

Landscaping Ideas Bog Gardens

Natalia van D/Shutterstock

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.

Guide Information

Landscaping Ideas Bog Gardens

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