Soil that receives and retains a lot of moisture challenge home landscapers to keep the plants alive and healthy. The roots of many shrubs tend to become diseased and rot in the presentence of constantly wet soils. But here are some shrubs that tolerate and even thrive in moist soil. To improve your success here are some suggested activities and varieties.
Have Your Soil Analyzed
First, a soil test is in order. A soil analysis test will give you a detailed analysis of your soil and recommendations for how to improve soil fertility. Soil is the source for all the things plants need to grow: nutrients, organic matter, air, and water. To find out more about soil testing and the steps to have one done, click this link on the Denton County Master Gardener Association site: https://dcmga.com/north-texas-gardening/community-gardening/soil-testing/
Improve the Soil Drainage
You may be able to improve the soil drainage in the wet area by incorporating soil amendments such as compost, bark mulch, or expanded shale. Of course, ensure run-off from downspouts is directed away from the area as well.
Shrubs for Moist Soil
A search on the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center Plant Database found these shrubs that are tolerant of moist soils and are recommended for the North Texas region. Take into consideration the amount of sun the area receives when choosing a shrub to plant.
Indigo Bush, False Indigo Bush, False Indigo, Desert False Indigo (Amorpha fruticosa). Sun, part-shade; 6-10 ft., loose, airy shrub which often forms dense thickets. Weblink: https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=amfr
Flame Acanthus, Hummingbird Bush, Wright’s Desert Honeysuckle, Wright Acanthus, Mexican Flame, Wright’s Mexican Flame (Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. wrightii). Sun, part-shade; spreading, 3 to 5 ft. deciduous shrub with exfoliating bark; red-orange, tubular flowers; and light-green, lanceolate leaves. Weblink: https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=anquw)
American Beautyberry , French Mulberry (Callicarpa Americana). Part-shade; most often grows 3-5 ft. tall and usually just as wide, It can reach 9 ft. in height in favorable soil and moisture conditions. It has long, arching branches and yellow-green fall foliage, but its most striking feature is the clusters of glossy, iridescent-purple fruit. Weblink: https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=caam2
Common Buttonbush, Buttonbush, Button Willow (Cephalanthus occidentalis). Shade, part-shade; Common buttonbush is a multi-stemmed shrub that grows 6-12 ft. or occasionally taller. Weblink: https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=ceoc2
Halberdleaf Rosemallow, Halberdleaf Hibiscus, Scarlet Rose Mallow, Halberd-leaved Hibiscus, Halberd-leaved Rose-mallow (Hibiscus laevis). Sun, Part-shade; grows to 6 feet tall with erect stems and leaves with large cup-shaped blossoms, about 3 inches long, are pink, sometimes white, with maroon or purple throats. Weblink: https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=hila2
Possumhaw, Possumhaw Holly, Deciduous Holly, Meadow Holly, Prairie Holly, Swamp Holly, Welk Holly, Deciduous Yaupon, Bearberry, Winterberry (Ilex decidua). Sun, Part-shade; small, deciduous tree or shrub,15-30 ft. tall, flowers precede clusters of persistent, red berries on female plants. Weblink: https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=ilde
Agarita, Agarito, Algerita, Laredo Mahonia, Laredo Oregon-grape, Trifoliate Barberry, Wild Currant (Mahonia trifoliolata). Sun, Part-shade; 3-6 ft. evergreen shrub, can reach 8 ft. in favorable conditions, numerous, yellow flowers, up to 1/2-inch wide, red berry, edible appearing from May to July. Weblink: https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=matr3
Fragrant Sumac, Aromatic Sumac, Lemon Sumac, Polecat Bush (Rhus aromatic). Sun, Shade, Part-shade; irregular, spreading, deciduous shrub, 6-12 ft. tall, yellowish catkin-like flowers precede dark-red berries which persist into March. Weblink: https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=rhar4
Consider a Rain Garden
A rain garden is a planted area in a bowl-shaped depression. Its purpose is to collect rainwater run-off from roofs, paved areas, and other surfaces. The plants in a rain garden are typically native or adaptive plants that can tolerate waterlogging and severe drought. In a residential setting, a rain garden should be at least 10 feet from the home to avoid damage to the foundation. To learn more about rain gardens click on this link from Texas A&M AgriLife Extension: http://agrilifecdn.tamu.edu/water/files/2013/02/stormwater-management-rain-gardens.pdf