A successful garden starts out with a good garden plan. Haphazardly throwing plants, trees, and shrubs together without a well-informed plan can be a recipe for disaster.

Understanding your local climate is essential to solid garden planning. In the beautiful Pacific Northwest that we call home, we frequently receive questions about plants that do well in the moist environment of the Portland area. But the Northwest presents a wide range of climates from the high deserts of Bend to the mild coastal regions of Seaside. Following are some ideas to help your garden planning process, no matter what type of conditions you might live in. We carry many of these in our Portland garden center.

 

Plants for Wet Areas 

 

Garden Planning with Wet Soil Plants

 

The following is a comprehensive list of trees, shrubs, perennials, grasses, and all-around wet soil plants. Most every Portland landscape has a need for a few plants that thrive in moist soil. Here are several to choose from!

 

Trees for Wet Areas

 

Red-Maple-Trees-For-Wet-Areas

Acer Rubrum Red Maple

 

  • Acer rubrum – Red Maple

  • Acer saccharinum – Silver Maple

  • Alnus – Alder

  • Betula nigra – River Birch

  • Fraxinus latifolia – Oregon Ash

  • Larix – Larch

  • Liquidamber stryaciflua – Sweetgum

  • Lirodendron – Tulip Tree

  • Malus – Crabapple

  • Magnolia virginiana – Sweet Bay

  • Metasequoia glyptostoboides – Dawn Redwood

  • Nyssa slyvantica – Sourgum

  • Picea sitchensis – Sitka Spruce

  • Platanus – Poplar

  • Quercus bicolor – Swamp White Oak

  • Quercus palustris – Pin Oak

  • Salix – Willow

  • Taxodium distichum – Bald Cypress

  • Thuja plicata – Western Red Cedar

 

Shrubs For Wet Areas

 

Andromeda Polifolia - Bog Rosemary

Andromeda Polifolia – Bog Rosemary

 

  • Andromeda polifolia – Bog Rosemary

  • Ardisia japonica – Japanese Ardisia

  • Aronia arbutifolia – Chokeberry

  • Calycanthus – Spice Bush

  • Chaenomeles – Flowering Quince

  • Cornus stolonifera – Red-Osier Dogwood

  • Ilex glabra – Inkberry

  • Ilex virginica – Sweetspire

  • Leucothoe fontanesiana – Drooping Leucothoe

  • Lindera benzoin – Spice Bush

  • Lonicera involucrate – Twinberry

  • Myrica pensylvanica – Bayberry

  • Rosa palustris – Swamp Rose

  • Salix – Shrub Willow

  • Sambucus Canadensis – Red Elderberry

  • Spirea douglasii – Douglas Spirea

  • Syphoricarpus orbiculatas – Coral Berry

  • Viburnum opulus – Snowball Bush

  • Viburnum trilobum – Cranberry Bush

 

Perennials For Wet Areas

 

Aruncus dioicus Goatsbeard

Aruncus dioicus Goatsbeard

 

  • Aruncus dioicus – Goatsbeard

  • Aster novae-angliae – New England Aster

  • Astilbe – Astilbe

  • Bellis pernnis – English Daisy

  • Caltha palustris – Marsh Marigold

  • Camassia – Camas Lily

  • Canna – Canna Lily

  • Chelone – Turtlehead

  • Cimicifuga – Bugbane

  • Dicentra Formosa – Bleeding Heart

  • Eupatorium maculatum – Joe-Pye Weed

  • Filapendula – Meadow sweet

  • Gunnera – Dinosaur Food

  • Iris – Iris

  • Lilium canadense – Canada Lily

  • Lysimachia – Loosestrife

  • Lobelia cardinalis – Cardinal Lobelia

  • Mentha – Mint

  • Mimulus – Monkey Flower

  • Monarda – Bee Balm

  • Mysosotis – Forget-me-not

  • Polygonatum – Solomans Seal

  • Primula japonica – Japanese Primrose

  • Rodgersia – Rodgersia

  • Schizostylis – Kafir Lily

  • Sisyrichium – Blue-eyed Grass

  • Tolmiea menziesii – Piggyback Plant

  • Trollius – Globeflower

  • Viola – Violet

  • Zantedeschia – Calla Lily

 

Grasses For Wet Areas

 

Acorus gramineus Japanese Sweet Flag

Acorus gramineus Japanese Sweet Flag
Image courtesy of Monrovia

 

  • Acorus gramineus – Japanese Sweet Flag

  • Calamagrostis – Feather Reed Grass

  • Carex – Sedges

  • Chasmanthium latifolium – Northern Sea Oats

  • Deschampsia – Tufted Hair Grass

  • Juncus – Rushes

  • Miscanthus sinensis – Maiden hair Grass

  • Molinia – Moor Grass

  • Panicum virgatum – Switch Grass

 

Beach Flowers: Garden Planning with Plants that Thrive in a Coastal Environment

 

Acer ginnala Amur Maple

Acer ginnala Amur Maple

 

Coastal Trees

  • Acer ginnala – Amur Maple

  • Arbutus menziesii – Pacific Madrone

  • Chamaecyparis lawsoniana – Port Orford Cedar

  • Chamaecyparis obtuse – Hinkoki Cypress

  • Crataegus – Hawthorn

  • Cupressocypraris leylandii – Leyland Cypress

  • Ilex apuifolium – English Holly

  • Laurus nobilis – Bay Laurel

  • Picea sitchensis – Sitka Spruce

  • Pinus contorta – Shore Pine

  • Pinus mugho – Mugo Pine

  • Pinus nigra – Austrian Black Pine

  • Pinus ponderosa – Ponderosa Pine

  • Pinus sylvestris – Scotch Pine

  • Pinus thunbergiana – Japanese Black Pine

  • Prunus – Flowering Cherry

  • Pseudotsuga menziesii – Douglas Fir

  • Robinia – Black Locust

  • Salix discolor/ caprea – Pussy Willow

  • Sequoia sempervirens – Coast Redwood

  • Thuja plicata – Western Red Cedar

 

Shrubs That Thrive on the Coast

 

Abelia grandiflora Abelia

Abelia grandiflora Abelia

 

  • Abelia grandiflora – Abelia

  • Arbutus unedo – Strawberry Bush

  • Aucuba japonica – Aucuba

  • Berberis – Barberry

  • Buxus sempervirens – Boxwood

  • Ceanothus – California Lilac

  • Choisya – Mexican Orange

  • Cistus – Rockrose

  • Cotoneaster – Cotoneaster

  • Cytisus – Broom

  • Eleagnus – Silverberry

  • Erica – Heath

  • Escallonia – Escallonia

  • Euonymus – Euonymus

  • Garrya eliptica – Silktassel

  • Hebe – Hebe

  • Hydrangea – Hydrangea

  • Ilex aquifolium – English Holly

  • Ilex glabra – Inkberry

  • Lonicera pileata – Box Honeysuckle

  • Myrica californica – Pacific Wax Myrtle

  • Potentilla – Potentilla

  • Prunus laurocerasus – English Laurel

  • Prunus lusitanica – Portugal Laurel

  • Punica granatum – Pomegranate

  • Pyracantha – Pyrancantha

  • Rhamnus – Rhamnus

  • Ribes – Flowering Currant

  • Rosa rugosa – Rugosa Rose

  • Rosmarinus officinalis – Rosemary

  • Syringa vulgaris – Lilac

  • Taxus – Yew

  • Vaccinium ovatum – Evergreen Huckleberry

  • Viburnum tinus – Laurestinus Viburnum

  • Yucca – Yucca

 

Perennials For A Coastal Environment

 

Achillea Yarrow

Achillea Yarrow

 

  • Achillea – Yarrow

  • Antennaria – Pussy Toes

  • Arabis – Rockcress

  • Armeria maritima – Sea Thrift

  • Artemisia – Mugwort

  • Bergenia – Bergenia

  • Carex – Sedge

  • Cerastium – Snow in Summer

  • Coreopsis – Tickseed

  • Dianthus – Pinks

  • Echinops – Globe Thistle

  • Festuca – Fescue

  • Gaillardia – Blanket Flower

  • Gypsophilia – Baby’s Breath

  • Fuchsia – Hardy Fuchsia

  • Helianthemum – Rockrose

  • Kniphofia – Red Hot Poker

  • Lavandula – Lavender

  • Limonium – Sea Lavender

  • Santolina – Lavender Cotton

  • Sedum – Sedum

  • Sempervivum – Hens and Chicks

  • Stachys – Lambs Ear

  • Thymus – Thyme

 

Ground Covers For a Coastal Environment

Arctostaphylos Kinnikinnick

Arctostaphylos Kinnikinnick

 

  • Arctostaphylos – Kinnikinnick

  • Ceanothus Pt. Reyes – Pt. Reyes CA Lilac

  • Euonymus fortuneii – Euonymus

  • Fragaria chiloensis – Ornam. Strawberry

  • Gautheria shallon – Salal

  • Juniperus – Junipers

  • Lithospernum – Lithodora

 

Drought Resistant Plants

Following is a collection of trees, shrubs, perennials, grasses, and vines that are drought resistant.

 

Abies Concolor

Abies Concolor

Drought Resistant Trees

  • Abies concolor

  • Acer campestre

  • Acer ginnala

  • Aesculus

  • Ailanthus altissima

  • Arbutus unedo

  • Calocedrus decurrens

  • Catalpa

  • Cedrus deodara

  • Cedrus atlantica

  • Cercis occidentalis

  • Cornus nuttali*

  • Corylus

  • Cotinus coggyria

  • Crataegus

  • Cupressocyparis leylandii*

  • Eleagnus angustifolia

  • Ficus carica**

  • Fraxinus

  • Ginkgo biloba

  • Gleditsia triancanthos

  • Gymnocladus dioica

  • Juglans

  • Koelreuteria paniculata

  • Lithocarpus densiflorus

  • Maclura pomifera

  • Morus

  • Phellodendron amurense

  • Picea

  • Pinus

  • Platanus acerifolia

  • Pseduotsuga menziesii

  • Quercus

  • Robinia

  • Sequoiandendron gigantica

  • Sophora japonica

  • Sorbus

  • Tilia tomentosum

  • Thuja plicata

  • Umbellularia californica

  • Zelkova serrata

 

Drought Resistant Shrubs

 

Acanthus mollis

Acanthus mollis

 

  • Acanthus mollis

  • Amelanchier alnifolia

  • Aronia

  • Aucuba japonica

  • Berberis

  • Buxus micro jap.

  • Calycanthus occidentalis

  • Camellia japonica

  • Caryopteris clandonensis

  • Ceanothus* **

  • Cerocarpus montanus

  • Chaenomeles

  • Cistus

  • Cotinus coggyria

  • Cotoneaster

  • Cytisus

  • Deutzia

  • Eleagnus

  • Escallonia **

  • Euonymus

  • Forsythia

  • Garrya fremontii

  • Genista

  • Hamamelis

  • Hibiscus syriacus

  • Helianthemum

  • Holidiscus discolor

  • Ilex

  • Kerria japonica

  • Lagerstroemia indica**

  • Ligustrum

  • Mahonia

  • Myrica

  • Nandina

  • Osmanthus**

  • Osmarea burkwoodii

  • Philadelphus

  • Photinia

  • Prunus laurocerasus

  • Punica granatum

  • Pyracantha

  • Rhus

  • Rhamnus

  • Rosa rugosa

  • Skimmia japonica

  • Spirea

  • Symporicarpos

  • Syringa

  • Tamarix pariflora*

  • Taxus*

  • Viburnum lantana

 

Drought Resistant Perennials

 

Achillea

Achillea

 

  • Achillea

  • Agapanthus**

  • Allium

  • Antennaria rosea* **

  • Anthemis tinctoria

  • Arenaria montana

  • Artemisia*

  • Asclepias*

  • Baptisia*

  • Bergenia cordifolia

  • Centaurea gymnocarpa**

  • Centranthus rubber

  • Ceratistigma pumbaginoides

  • Convolvulus

  • Coreopsis*

  • Echinacea purpurea*

  • Echinops exaltus*

  • Erysium*

  • Gaillardia grandiflora*

  • Geranium sangiuineum

  • Gypsophilia paniculata*

  • Helenium autumnalis

  • Helleborus

  • Hemerocallis

  • Iris

  • Kniphoia uvaria*

  • Lavandula*

  • Liatris*

  • Limonium*

  • Linum

  • Lychnis*

  • Nepeta

  • Oenothera*

  • Papavera*

  • Penstemon*

  • Perovskia*

  • Phlomis*

  • Polystichmum munitum

  • Romneya*

  • Ruta*

  • Salvia officinalis*

  • Santolina*

  • Saponaria*

  • Sedum*

  • Sisyrinchium

  • Solidago

  • Thymus*

  • Tradescantia

  • Verbascum

 

Drought Resistant Grasses

 

Cortaderia selloana

Cortaderia selloana

 

  • Cortaderia selloana

  • Festuca ovina glauca

  • Calamagrostis

  • Miscanthus

  • Pennisetum*

  • Stipa

 

Drought Resistant Vines

 

Clematis Armandi

Clematis Armandi

 

  • Clematis armandi**

  • Lonicera japonica “Halliana’

  • Wisteria

*These plants will not tolerate heavy clay soils which are water-saturated in the winter.

** These plants are marginally hardy for the Northwest. They will freeze out some years.