Landscaping for Damp or Marshy Areas
Wet or marshy areas need not be a problem for whether in the
form of a pond, a bubbling stream or a wetland area, they add a
whole new dimension to the garden, as it allows for the addition of
many lovely moisture loving plants that could otherwise not be
There are a large number of indigenous plants that thrive in damp conditions, some, with lush foliage add a cool tropical feel while others, with beautiful flowers, add splashes of vibrant colour to the landscape.
The following moisture loving foliage plants will impart a lush tropical atmosphere to damp or marshy areas:
Cyathea dregei (Common tree
No water garden or marshy area should be without the magnificent tree fern. These lovely plants look stunning when grouped together, creating a truly luxuriant tropical atmosphere in damp areas. As Cyathea dregei is a protected species make sure to obtain yours from a reputable dealer. Cyathea australis is widely available and is an excellent substitute for Cyathea dregei.
Cyperus papyrus (Papyrus)
The long erect stems of Papyrus are crowned with a mop of fine thread-like flower spikes. These fast growing wetland plants establish themselves quickly making them ideal for the beginner's garden.
Ensete ventricosum (Wild banana)
The magnificent, massive leaves of the Wild banana are unsurpassed in imparting a lush feel to any water garden or wetland area.
Adiantum capillus-veneris (Maidenhair
The delicate, confetti-like foliage of this well known, graceful fern is perfect as a contrast with bolder leafed moisture loving plants.
For colour in damp or marshy areas try some of the following indigenous varieties:
Watsonia hybrids (Watsonia)
When planted en masse, these are amongst the showiest of indigenous plants. Available in a variety of shades from white to mauve, pale and deep pink, orange, salmon and red, these moisture loving plants are a must for any wetland area.
Zantedeschia aethiopica (Arum
The beautiful white flowers as well as the attractive, bold leaves of the arum will show up well in marsh or wetland areas. Aside from the white variety, indigenous arums are also available in yellow (Z.Pentiandii) and pinkish-red (Z. Rehmannii).
Clivia miniata (Bush lily)
Clivias are shade loving plants and will look spectacular when planted beneath a group of tree ferns or wild bananas in a wetland area.
Although agapanthus will tolerate drier conditions, they really thrive when planted in a marshy situation and with the wide variety of agapanthus species and hybrids available today, it is possible to have flowering plants for most of the year.
Phygelius capensis (Cape
This fast growing, moisture loving plant bears beautiful drooping, tubular, coral red flowers in summer. Growing up to 1 meter in height, the Cape fuchsia will provide some height in semi shaded damp or marshy areas.
Crinum bulbispermum (Orange river
Preferring moist or marshy conditions Crinum creates a stunning display when the enormous, showy peduncles of trumpet shaped, lily- like pink flowers appear from October to December. Interplant them with agapanthus for an unforgettable show.
There are many more indigenous options for damp or marshy areas but if you are just starting out, a beautiful wetland area can be created using the suggestions here.