Top 10 Plants That Soak up Water


Plants that soak up water include ferns, spider plants, and peace lilies. If you’re looking for a low-maintenance way to keep excess moisture out of your home, plants can be a great solution.


Different tree species have varying capacities for water absorption. Some trees known for their water-soaking abilities include willows, poplars, and bald cypress. These species possess extensive root systems that efficiently draw in water from the ground.

These plants have evolved unique adaptations that allow them to absorb and remove excess water from the soil, helping to reduce the risk of flooding and waterlogging.

In this article, we will explore the top 10 plants that soak up water, their characteristics, and how they can be used in gardens and landscaping.

Top 10 Plants That Soak Up Water

Types Of Plants That Soak Up Water

Plants are not only ornamental, but they also serve as natural water filters in many environments. There are several types of plants that can soak up water, thus reducing erosion and preventing flooding.

Some plants can even absorb heavy metals and other pollutants, making them valuable in dealing with polluted water.

Here, we will discuss some of the plants that excel in soaking up water.

Aquatic Plants

Aquatic plants are those that thrive in water and are well adapted to soaking up large amounts of it. They grow in lakes, ponds, and other bodies of water and are an integral part of the ecosystem.

Here are some examples of aquatic plants that can soak up water:

  • Water hyacinth: This is a floating plant that grows rapidly and is known for its ability to absorb nutrients and purify water.
  • Duckweed: This is a small floating plant that can double its mass in just two days, making it efficient in water absorption.
  • Water lilies: These plants grow in still water and provide shade for fish and other aquatic organisms while soaking up water.

Wetland Plants

Wetland plants are those that grow in wet soils or standing water. They are excellent in holding water during floods and soaking up excess water. Wetland plants include:

  • Cattails: These are tall plants that grow in shallow water and absorb nutrients while also providing cover for wildlife.
  • Swamp milkweed: This is a plant that can thrive in standing water and is known for its ability to absorb pollutants.
  • Bald cypress: This is a tree that grows in swampy areas and has the ability to absorb large quantities of water.

Drought-Resistant Plants

Drought-resistant plants are those that are adapted to survive in areas with little water. These plants have unique features that allow them to reduce water loss while still absorbing enough water to thrive. They include:

  • Yucca: This is a succulent plant that can retain water in its leaves, making it suitable for areas with little water.
  • Lavender: This plant has deep roots that allow it to absorb water from deep in the soil, making it drought-resistant.
  • Bermuda grass: This grass is adapted to drought conditions and can soak up water efficiently.

Top 10 Plants That Soak Up Water

Plants are the best natural solution that can assist in damp soil absorption and prevent waterlogging by soaking up excess water in the ground.

These plants are suitable for wet areas in your garden and can even serve as a natural water purifier.

1. Water Hyacinth (Eichhornia Crassipes)

Water hyacinth is a floating aquatic plant that is well-known for its ability to clean up water. This beautiful plant is native to south America, but it is found worldwide, primarily in tropical and subtropical regions.

Here are some key points about water hyacinth.

  • Physical characteristics: Water hyacinth is a free-floating plant with round, glossy, and waxy leaves. Its long roots dangle underneath it and provide a habitat for fish and other aquatic animals.
  • Water absorption: Water hyacinth is exceptional when it comes to soaking up excess water. It can absorb up to 800-1000 liters of water per day per square meter, making it an excellent natural flood control system.
  • Nutrient absorption: This plant is also capable of absorbing a large amount of nutrients from water, primarily nitrogen and phosphorus. Water hyacinth can effectively filter these elements and reduce water pollution.
  • Economic importance: Apart from its ecological significance, water hyacinth is also economically valuable. It is used in the production of paper, handicrafts, and furniture, serves as a biomass source, and helps in wastewater treatment.
  • Risks and control measures: However, water hyacinth can be a nuisance if its growth is uncontrolled. It can clog water bodies, prevent sunlight and oxygen from reaching other aquatic plants and animals, and reduce water quality. Therefore, it is crucial to control its growth by reducing nutrient input, promoting competition with other aquatic plants, and manual removal.

2. Elephant Ear (Colocasia Esculenta)

If you’re looking for a plant that will soak up excess water in your garden, elephant ear is a great solution. Here are some key things to know:

  • Elephant ear is a tropical plant that thrives in wet and damp conditions.
  • The plant has large leaves that can absorb a lot of water, helping to prevent flooding in your garden.
  • Elephant ear is also known for its striking appearance, with leaves that resemble the ears of an elephant.

When it comes to planting elephant ear, make sure to choose a spot that gets plenty of moisture. This could be near a pond or stream, or in a low-lying area of your garden.

The plant will grow best in full or partial sunlight, and should be watered frequently to keep the soil moist.

Overall, elephant ear is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a hardy, visually appealing plant that can help manage excess water in your garden. Its ability to soak up water makes it a valuable addition to any landscape.

3. Papyrus (Cyperus Papyrus)

If you are looking for a plant that can soak up a lot of water and is also perfect for adding an exotic touch to your garden, then papyrus is the ideal choice.

This ancient Egyptian plant has been used to make paper, boats, and even sandals.

Here are some key points about this unique plant:

  • Native to africa, papyrus can grow up to 15 feet tall, making it a perfect choice for those looking for a tall plant as a focal point in their garden.
  • Papyrus is a water-loving plant, making it a perfect plant for a wetland garden, pond or water feature, and it can even thrive in a shallow pool of water.
  • The papyrus leaves are long and thin and give the plant a feathery appearance. They sway gracefully in the breeze making it an excellent plant for adding movement to your garden.
  • Papyrus plants are easy to care for, and they thrive in full sun or partial shade. They prefer moist soil and can tolerate extreme heat and humidity, making them an excellent option for gardens in tropical climates.
  • Papyrus can also be used indoors, in a large pot of water or in a vase with water as a statement piece. The unique shape and texture of the plant can add an exotic touch to any room.

4. Cattail (Typha Spp.)

Cattails are tall, slender plants that grow in wetlands and marshes. They are useful in soaking up water in swampy areas. Here are key points about Cattail (Typha spp. ):

  • Cattails have long leaves and spikes of flowers that resemble sausages.
  • They grow in densely-packed clumps, providing excellent habitat for water birds, burrowing animals, and amphibians.
  • Cattails are good at absorbing water and filtering pollutants, which makes them ideal for stormwater management and improving water quality.
  • Cattails have an extensive root system that can prevent soil erosion by holding the soil together.
  • They are also often used for their edible parts, such as the young shoots, pollen, and rootstocks.

Cattails are a versatile and interesting group of plants that are easy to grow and maintain. If you have a wetland area on your property, consider planting some cattails to help manage the water and improve the environment.

5. Venus Flytrap (Dionaea Muscipula)

The venus flytrap is one of the most intriguing plants you can find. Here are some key points about this fascinating plant:

  • Structure: The venus flytrap has leaves that are modified to snap shut when triggered by the movement of an insect. Its trapping mechanism consists of three trigger hairs that, when touched, cause the trap to snap shut in less than a second.
  • Habitat: Venus flytraps are native to the southeastern united states, particularly in wetland areas with acidic soils.
  • Cultivation: Venus flytraps can be grown indoors or outdoors, but they require a considerable amount of care. They need a lot of sunlight and a constantly moist environment. Avoid using tap water as it may contain minerals that are harmful to the plant.
  • Diet: Venus flytraps feed on insects, spiders, and other small arthropods. They cannot survive solely on insects and still require sunlight, soil, and water to grow.
  • Conservation: Venus flytraps are currently considered a threatened species due to habitat loss and over-harvesting. They are protected by law, and wild collection is illegal in some areas.

The venus flytrap is indeed a fascinating plant that proves to be both beautiful and functional. Whether you are an insect or a plant lover, this herb will undoubtedly catch your eye.

6. Sundew (Drosera Spp.)

Sundew is a carnivorous plant that belongs to the Droseraceae family and is known for its unique ability to trap insects. It is also one of the top plants that can soak up water.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when growing sundew plants:

  • Sundews prefer to grow in acidic soil and humid environments. They can be found in bogs, marshes, and wetlands.
  • Sundews have small, sticky hairs on their leaves that can ensnare small insects, such as gnats and flies. This allows the plant to obtain essential nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorus, that are not readily available in their native habitats.
  • Sundews need plenty of light to grow, but direct sunlight can be too intense for them. A good rule of thumb is to provide them with at least four hours of bright, indirect sunlight each day.
  • Sundews should be watered regularly with distilled or rainwater, as tap water can be too alkaline and harm the plant. Ensure the soil is moist but not waterlogged.
  • Sundews can be propagated by division. Wait until the plant is mature and divide it into smaller sections, making sure each section has several healthy leaves and roots.

7. Pitcher Plant (Nepenthes Spp.)

Pitcher plant, also known as nepenthes spp. , is a fascinating carnivorous plant that can absorb large amounts of water.

Here are some key points to know about this incredible plant:

  • Pitcher plants have a unique way of harvesting water. They have modified leaves that form a “pitcher” shape, which collects water from rainfall and dew.
  • The pitcher is filled with a digestive fluid that can break down insects and other small organisms that fall into it. This fluid can also help the plant retain water for longer periods.
  • Pitcher plants are commonly found in rainforests and other humid environments where water is plentiful. They are often grown as houseplants or in outdoor gardens in areas with high rainfall.

With its interesting shape and unique ability to absorb water, the pitcher plant is a must-have for any plant enthusiast.

Consider adding one to your collection to see its stunning beauty and water-soaking abilities for yourself!

8. Water Lily (Nymphaea Spp.)

Water lilies are aquatic plants that float on top of the water, producing attractive and fragrant flowers. They come in various shapes, sizes, and colors, making them an excellent choice for water gardens or ponds. Here are some key points you need to know about water lilies:

  • Sustainability: Water lilies can help to control algae growth in your pond, as they absorb all the nutrients that algae need to grow. This helps in maintaining the clarity and cleanliness of your pond.
  • Types: Depending on the size of your pond, you can choose from different types of water lilies, such as tropical, hardy, day bloomers, and night bloomers.
  • Care: Water lilies require a lot of sunlight to grow. Ensure that they get at least six hours of direct sunlight a day. They also need regular feeding with a fertilizer that is formulated specifically for water lilies.
  • Propagation: Water lilies can be propagated by dividing the rhizomes. It is best to do this during the growing season.
  • Benefits: Water lilies are more than just an aesthetic addition to your pond. They are also beneficial to the environment, acting as natural filters, and providing habitats for fish, birds, and insects.

9. Spider Lily (Hymenocallis Spp.)

Spider lily, also known as hymenocallis spp. , is a beautiful plant that can absorb large amounts of water from the soil. It is an excellent choice for areas that receive large amounts of rainfall or have standing water.


  • The scientific name of spider lily is hymenocallis spp.
  • It is a hardy plant that can grow up to 2 to 3 feet in height.
  • The plant is characterized by its slender, long leaves and delicate white flowers.
  • Spider lilies are native to the southern united states and central america.
  • The plant thrives in regions with wet soil and high humidity.


  • Spider lilies are excellent at absorbing standing water, making them a popular choice for flood-prone areas.
  • The plant can help control soil erosion due to its deep-reaching root system.
  • It can also improve soil quality as it absorbs excess water and nutrients from the soil.


  • Spider lilies require moist soil, rich in organic matter, to grow well.
  • They prefer partial or full shade and should be planted in a location with good drainage.
  • It is important to avoid planting spider lilies in areas with poorly drained soil to prevent root rot.
  • Spider lilies bloom in the summer and require regular watering during this period.

10. Umbrella Palm (Cyperus Alternifolius)]

Looking for a plant that can not only enhance the beauty of your house but can also absorb excess water in your home?

Then the umbrella palm, or Cyprus Alternifolius, is the perfect choice for you! Here are some essential things you should know about this amazing water-absorbing plant:

  • The umbrella palm is a popular houseplant that is native to madagascar and likes to grow in wet soil.
  • This plant has a unique appearance, with long blades resembling an umbrella.
  • When it comes to soaking up water, the umbrella palm is a champion! It can absorb excess water from the soil and purify it through its roots.
  • The plant is an expert in cleaning the impurities of wastewater in fishponds and aquariums, acting as a biological filter.
  • Furthermore, umbrella palm’s roots are incredibly efficient in absorbing toxins and pollutants from surrounding air, making it a natural air purifier and an excellent choice for indoor spaces.
  • It prefers bright to indirect sunlight and requires occasional pruning to maintain its unique shape.
  • It can grow up to 3 feet tall and 3 feet wide, making it a perfect indoor companion.
  • The plant grows year-round, so it is a perfect choice for those looking for a low-maintenance yet beautiful houseplant.
  • The umbrella palm is non-toxic and pet-friendly, so you don’t need to worry about your pets or young kids.
  • Lastly, this plant is so versatile that it can be used for both ornamental and practical purposes. It’s no wonder that it ranks as one of the best water-absorbing plants!

The umbrella palm is a unique, versatile, and practical plant that can purify the air and absorb excess water. With its easy-to-care-for nature, it’s an ideal indoor companion. So, what are you waiting for? Get yourself an umbrella palm today!

Mechanisms Of Water Absorption In Plants

Plants are one of the most fascinating natural wonders. They offer numerous benefits, including air purification, aesthetic beauty, and ecological balance.

However, one of their most important functions is water absorption. Plants cannot survive without water, and they have developed interesting mechanisms to obtain and retain water.

Root Hairs As A Primary Mechanism For Water Absorption

One of the most significant mechanisms of water absorption in plants is through root hairs. Root hairs are small, elongated cells that increase the surface area of the root system, allowing it to absorb water and nutrients more efficiently. Below are some key facts about root hairs:

  • Root hairs are very small and can measure up to 1/16 inch long
  • They are found in the epidermis of the root system
  • Root hairs are in direct contact with the soil, which allows for water and nutrient absorption
  • The surface area of the root system increases significantly with the presence of root hairs

Capillary Action In Plants

Capillary action occurs when water molecules move through small spaces in the soil through tiny tubes called capillaries.

This process is driven by cohesion and adhesion among water molecules.

Here are some interesting points to remember when it comes to capillary action:

  • The smaller the capillary, the higher the water can rise by capillary action
  • Capillary action can overcome the force of gravity if the tubes are narrow enough
  • Soil type and moisture content directly impact the capillarity of water in the soil
  • Capillary action allows plants to reach water deeper in the soil, increasing the range of absorption

Mychorrhizae For Water Uptake

Mychorrhizae are fungi that form a mutualistic symbiotic relationship with plant roots. These fungi can enhance a plant’s ability to absorb water and nutrients, particularly in nutrient-poor soil. Here are some key points to note about Mychorrhizae:

  • Mycorrhizae bridge the gap between soil and plant, increasing water and nutrient uptake efficiency
  • The Mychorrhizae network extends and explores the soil for resources that the plant could not reach otherwise
  • This mutualistic relationship is a critical mechanism that benefits both plant and fungi

Plants have a unique ability to absorb and retain water using various mechanisms. Root hairs, capillary action, and mycorrhizae are examples of the incredible strategies found in plants for water uptake.

Benefits Of Plants That Soak Up Water

Plants that soak up water can be a valuable addition to any garden. In addition to their aesthetic appeal, they offer many benefits to the environment and the gardener.

Here are some of the main benefits to keep in mind:

Improved Soil Quality

Plants that soak up water can help improve the quality of soil in your garden. They do so by reducing soil erosion and retaining moisture, which allows for better growth of other plants and trees.

  • Soil erosion control: Roots of these plants penetrate deep into the soil, taking hold of it firmly. This helps to prevent erosion caused due to wind and rain.
  • Moisture retention: These plants retain moisture in the soil and keep it available to other plants in the garden.

Reduced Water Usage

Plants that soak up water can reduce the amount of water needed to maintain a garden. They can absorb and retain large amounts of water, which means less watering is required.

  • Reduced maintenance: Less watering is required, which means you save on time and effort required for garden maintenance.
  • Conservation: The reduced water usage helps to conserve water, which is a valuable resource.

Improved Air Quality

Plants that soak up water can help improve the air quality in and around your garden. They do so by releasing moisture into the air, which can help reduce dryness and improve overall air quality.

  • Moisture in the air: These plants release moisture into the air through transpiration, which can help to reduce dryness in the environment.
  • Reduced pollution: The increased moisture content in the air can help to reduce air pollution caused due to dust and other environmental contaminants.

Aesthetic Appeal

Plants that soak up water can add to the aesthetic appeal of your garden. They come in a range of sizes, colours, and varieties that can enhance the visual appeal of any garden.

  • Beauty: These plants can add beauty to any garden, irrespective of its size or location.
  • Variety: There are many varieties available, which means you can choose the ones that best suit your garden.

Plants that soak up water offer many benefits, including improved soil quality, reduced water usage, improved air quality, and aesthetic appeal. They can be a great addition to any garden, making it not only beautiful but environmentally-friendly too.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are Some Examples Of Plants That Absorb A Lot Of Water?

Some plants that soak up a lot of water include water lilies, elephant ear plants, and orchids. These plants enjoy moist soil and can help soak up excess water in areas that frequently experience heavy rain or flooding.

How Can I Use Water-Retaining Plants In My Garden Design?

Water-retaining plants can be an excellent addition to any garden design. Consider using them in areas of your yard that are especially prone to flooding, or even incorporating them into a rain garden that helps to improve drainage and manage runoff.

Do These Plants Require A Lot Of Maintenance?

Plants that absorb a lot of water can be relatively low-maintenance, but they do require consistent access to water as well as well-draining soil.

Be sure to keep an eye on the soil moisture level and plan to fertilize as needed to keep these plants healthy and thriving.

Are There Any Downsides To Using Water-Retaining Plants?

While water-retaining plants can help improve soil drainage and manage excessive moisture, they do require specific growing conditions and may not thrive in all environments.

Additionally, some species can be invasive and may require frequent maintenance and management to control growth.

How Can I Ensure That My Water-Retaining Plants Stay Healthy And Vibrant?


To keep your water-retaining plants looking their best, be sure to provide consistent access to water and consider adding a layer of mulch around the base of each plant to help maintain moisture.

You should also plan to fertilize regularly and keep an eye out for signs of pest infestation or disease.

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