Evergreen Plants for a Wet Area

Updated February 21, 2017

You can find evergreen landscaping plants for wet areas, with North American native species up to the task of growing in damp parts of your property. The evergreens suitable for wet situations include some coniferous trees, but broadleaved evergreens are available for such jobs as well. Evergreen shrubs in a range of sizes also qualify as candidates for the low-lying wet spots around your home.

Giant Arborvitae

Use the evergreen giant arbor vitae (Thuja plicata), native to the West Coast from northern California to Alaska, as a hedge, screen, specimen plant or windbreak. Giant arbor vitae handles damp soil and even grows in what the University of Connecticut Plant Database calls "somewhat wet" ground. Giant arbor vitae grows to 70 feet and has dark green foliage resembling scales. Giant arbor vitae is cold-hardy to U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zone 5. Its smaller cultivars, including Whipcord and Cuprea, work as foundation plants in wet spots.

Loblolly Pine

Loblolly is a slang term for mud puddle or mud hole, which tells you all you need to know about the preference of the loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) for damp areas. Growing in the Southeastern states, loblolly pine has a reputation for developing a straight trunk, which loses most of the lower branches as the tree ages. Use loblolly pine as a specimen tree in open, wet areas or to form screens. The tree, which grows to 90 feet, requires full sun and it will not grow in shade. Loblolly pine is among the fastest-growing of all Southern pine tree species, notes the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.


Inkberry (Ilex glabra) is a medium-sized, broadleaved evergreen shrub, growing between 5 and 8 feet tall in zones 4-9. Landscapers know inkberry will grow where it is wet, using this species near ponds, streams and swamps, along with other spots where the ground remains moist. Inkberry's foliage is shiny and green, while its flowers produce black fruit eaten by birds. Inkberry works as a foundation plant, a hedge, in mass plantings and in shrub borders, and is shade-tolerant.

Trailing Arbutus

Thick, dark green leaves, aromatic, white flowers and white berries are trademarks of the trailing arbutus (Epigaea repens), an evergreen shrub native from New England to Florida. Trailing arbutus grows in shady, damp sites, maturing to between 4 and 6 inches high, so it's suitable as a ground cover. It can be difficult to grow, since it will not withstand drought and develops slowly. The plant forms dense mats of evergreen leaves when mature, a quality that is a good fit in damp, woodland gardens.

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About the Author

John Lindell has written articles for "The Greyhound Review" and various other online publications. A Connecticut native, his work specializes in sports, fishing and nature. Lindell worked in greyhound racing for 25 years.