Planting and Planning a Bog Garden

Constructing a bog garden may seem like a daunting task at first but when you consider keeping a plot of soil wet all year long it will help to keep your yard cooler when temperatures rise. A bog is a low lying piece of land that stays wet constantly. Bogs are actually more prevalent in northern latitudes where it is colder as the world’s largest bog is in Siberia.

Natural bogs are mostly acidic areas as they collect dead plant material that decomposes in the water. The higher acidity works well for the types of plants that grow in a bog and reach up to the surface and float on the water.


A bog garden will have several elements to it including having some plastic laid down about two feet below the rest of the garden. You will need to decide how much of your yard you want taken up by something that will be moist year-round. Proper planning and planting of the plants should be done in the gardens. Many people explains how you need to be watering, pruning, and weeding the garden. The process of weeding should be simple and easy for the person to get the desired results. 

Having a water structure or fountain is not necessary for a bog as the water you need for the bog garden will be absorbed by the plants and will need replenishing on a regular basis. You will also have to find a supplier of plants especially grown for bogs that float on the top of water.


Making a bog is not as hard as it sounds. Make a hole in your garden about two feet deep and then line it with thick plastic. If burrowing animals are a problem in your area, you may decide to lay down some kind of heavy cloth first to keep out moles and the like. Cut slits in the plastic a few inches from the top to let extra water drain out if need be. Lay enough plastic out about a foot on each side for when the soil makes the plastic sink down with its weight.

Fill the bottom portion with a couple inches of sand and then fill up the rest of the hole with a mix of three parts peat to one part sand. The reason for the peat is that the soil needs to be acidic like in a natural bog. The sand is there to keep the soil loose for the roots of the aquatic plants that will live there.

Wet the soil completely before you plant anything. The best time for bog plants would be the spring as temperatures get warmer and there is less stress on the plants. Bog plants that work well are ones that don’t need a lot of soil to take root. Lily pads, floating plants, and carnivorous plants such as a Venus fly trap will all be wonderful additions to your garden. Any plant that needs a lot of moisture will work great. Mosses also do well in northern climates if you have any nearby trees.


The key element to your bog is to keep it wet. Though you won’t have to water it every day to keep it completely drenched a soaking every five days should be sufficient. If you won’t want to stand there with a hose you can bury some irrigation pipe on either side of your bog and just turn on the hose for a while.

Winter time is a hard time for a bog but the plants you put in it should survive the dormancy as they do in nature. Prune anything that doesn’t come back in the spring and replant anything that might get pushed up by the ice. Ice is less dense than water and will expand the already loose dirt mixture in your bog so if you have lots of ice it might be a good idea to check on your plants after a hard freeze and see if they have to be pushed back down.

About Emma

Emma Logan is the content coordinator of Beverly Lahaye Institute. She’s been freelancing for many years and now focuses on WordPress development and blog design