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Marsh and Bog Plants

Marsh or bog plants are the generic terms used for plants that thrive in damp soil while not waterlogged.
Adding moisture-loving plants adds another dimension to your pond, extending the plant varieties offering beauty and shading and increasing the habitat for native wildlife.

What is the difference between bog/marsh plants and moisture-loving plants?

There is no difference! Many moisture-loving plants are ideal for planting areas where the soil remains wet but not submerged, for example, in the shallow regions of a wildlife pond. It is worth remembering most marginal plants will happily grow in these conditions, but bog plants will not do well on marginal shelves. Marsh and bog plants will add more colour, extend the flowering season around the pond and look great next to the traditional marginal plants.

Marsh bog garden

What is a pond marsh area?

A bog or marsh area should not be confused with a marginal planting area, usually a submerged shallow shelve. A marsh area in water garden terms is an area of soil that is consistently damp and often shaded but not wholly submerged or waterlogged.

How to create a planting area for bog/marsh plants?

A marsh planting area can be created in many ways. It could be an area on the side of the pond or the gently slopping edges of a wildlife pond that is higher than the water level. Alternatively, you could create a separate marsh area in part of the garden that naturally retains high moisture levels. An artificial area can also be made with a pond liner, using some drainage holes to stop waterlogging. However, the essential element is the plants must not be consistently submerged or waterlogged.


Will marsh plants survive in the pond?

Only a few marsh plants will tolerate being on a marginal shelf if the top of the basket is positioned higher than the water level. The majority of marginal pond plants will flourish in a marsh area. However, MOST marsh plants will NOT survive if submerged.

How do you plant bog or marsh areas?

As most bog gardens or marsh areas retain soil, you may plant directly into this. However, if your bog garden uses gravel or stone as a substrate, you may want to plant into aquatic baskets to give your plants a good soil base while maintaining plant growth.


Which plants grow well in a bog garden?

Note: None of these plants will survive if submerged

Marsh Planting & Care.

These plants are ideally suited for planting directly into the soil around the pond edge, maybe where the pond overflows, or in a purpose-built bog garden made from surplus pond liner. When they are to be placed in a beached area it may be desirable to plant them into an aquatic container that is then directly buried into the gravel.
Some bog garden plants can have their root balls wrapped in hessian with some soil, then placed into the stone. Ensure that these plants are not planted in areas likely to be submerged during the winter. Take care to protect less hardy plants over winter by leaving their dead leaves on or covering them with straw for protection, especially Gunnera.

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