Waterlogged patch of grass
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The Sweet-Smelling, Flowering Tree That Thrives In Damp Soil
If you've got consistently damp soil in your yard, you either need to find ways to reduce the moisture or plant trees that love moist soil and can help soak up the excess water.
The sweetbay magnolia (Magnolia virginiana) is a fast-growing tree that draws pollinators and birds. It prefers moist soil, but won't take over your yard like some water-guzzlers.
With its dreamy white, lemon-scented flowers and bright red seeds, this tree is on the smaller side, reaching only 10 to 35 feet tall, unlike the huge southern magnolia.
In warm climates, its glossy dark green foliage lasts year-round; however, in cooler climates like USDA zones 6 and below, the sweetbay magnolia drops most of its leaves in winter.
The sweetbay thrives in wet, acidic, rich soil, similar to its natural habitat along water-logged woodlands and swamps — but standing water and flooding shouldn’t be constant.
Plant the sweetbay magnolia in full sun to partial shade, far enough away from your house so it has ample room to grow. Once established, it’s drought-tolerant and wind-resistant.
Its compact stature, resilience, elegant foliage, and romantic flowers make the sweetbay magnolia a perfect choice for a border or privacy screen, or to hide an unsightly view.