The general impression is that clay can be quite difficult to work with and that only a few plants can successfully grow in it. Shrubs That Grow Fast in Clay Soil. Carry on browsing if you're happy with this, or find out how to manage cookies. Sometimes known by the unfortunate name of chokeberry (thanks to its edible but astringent fruit), aronia is a beautiful North American native with multi-season appeal. Here are ten beautiful shrubs that will thrive in clay. Create vertical areas of interest in the spots on your property with clay soil when you plant fast-growing shrubs. All Rights Reserved. It has palmately compound leaves and seed capsules with 1 or 2 shiny brown buckeyes. Find out where you fall in the USDA Hardiness Zones database. If your yard has heavy soil, your best bet is to amend it to increase drainage, then select clay tolerant shrubs. * Clay soil: 5 tips to make your garden flourish. As summer wears on, purple-black fruits develop. Image: RHS/John Trenholm. The show begins in late spring and goes, and goes, and goes, right up until the first hard frost. Back. Small or low-growing shrubs can even be used for ground cover. Best veg for clay soil. Many times plants will need a more organically rich soil than clay delivers. Hedges for clay soil, we have a very wide selection of hedging plants for clay soil and with a little preparation and improvement the soil will sustain many types of hedging. In addition to their ability to withstand challenging conditions, smooth hydrangeas like the Incrediball® series and Invincibelle® series bring all-new colors to this landscape standard. With their trumpet-like flowers and late spring bloom time, weigela seem to announce the transition into summer. If you’re looking for something smaller, the dwarf Lil’ Kim® series is just the ticket. We’ll give you some tips on amending clay soil as well as a list of shrubs for clay backyards. They can take a bit of shade but color and flower production is best in full sun. Growing wild over much of the eastern United States and Canada, diervilla is a quiet, refined shrub that does a lot in the landscape but asks very little from you. Previously, aronia was only available as a large shrub or small tree, but Low Scape® aronias make this versatile, durable species available to all with new, smaller habits. For the most part, these can be true — but only if the clay […] Save to My scrapbook. Many old-fashioned shrub roses grow well on clay soil, so ‘Blanche Double de Coubert’ is a representative of them all, as well … Clay soil is much maligned by gardeners and homeowners everywhere, and no wonder: it’s heavy, sticky, and difficult to work in. Carry on browsing if you're happy with … With large, saucer-like blooms for months every summer in beautiful shades perfectly suited to sunny days, its prettiness belies an extremely tough plant. This soil is rich in nutrients and will happily accommodate a considerable range of plants. Clays soil particles are flat and dense, not ideal for plant growth. There is a hardy geranium for all conditions from full sun right through to dry shade. These shrubs all like clay soil in partial shade, and may tolerate full shade too. This tough species can grow in most any soil and even tolerates shade well. Experts agree that some ornamental grasses don’t mind heavy clay soil, but they will do better in a part sun location. Choosing Plants for Clay Soil Trees and Shrubs Choosing plants for clay soil can be tricky as cold heavy clay soils can prove rather inhospitable for many ornamental plants. South African indigenous plants that will grow in clay soils Yes, you can grow hydrangeas even in clay soil! Buy evergreen flowering shrubs for clay soil: Delivery by Crocus We use cookies to provide you with a better service and experience. All summer long, all three varieties are dotted with yellow flowers that attract pollinators. Other good shrubs to grow on clay soils: Abelia, Chaenomeles, Corylus, Cytisus, Escallonia, Garrya, Genista, Hamamelis, Lonicera, Potentilla, Sambucus, Skimmia, Spiraea, Syringa Planting on clay can be difficult Most people know the tree-like white flowering dogwoods that burst into bloom each spring. Flowering currant flowers are dainty and delicate, adding finesse to the garden in late spring. But in the more temperate regions of the country, boxwood are considered drought tolerant once established in the garden. Such soils are described as heavy. Clay soils are slow to warm up in spring, making them poor for early vegetable varieties. While Kodiak® diervillas may not be the most flashy shrubs you’ll ever plant, you will definitely appreciate how hard-working they are – and how much work they save you. Take your pick of four glorious shades: Double Take Scarlet™, Double Take Orange™, Double Take Pink™, and Double Take Peach™. Anigozanthos 'Landscape Scarlet' - Kangaroo Paw Landscape Scarlet is from the Tall and Tough range of kangaroo paws, and grows well in a good range of soil ...more; Articles Buy clay soil hedging plants, grown by experts, delivered to your door from our award … Low Scape® Hedger aronia has a taller but narrow habit, so it makes the perfect low hedge for landscaping or screening off air conditioners and the like. So, if you’ve been struggling to achieve your dream garden or landscape in clay soil, cheer up! Prune after flowering in summer if the plant gets too big. Best Plants for Problem Clay Soils: Shrubs Shrubs Aesculus pavia — Red buckeye Hummingbirds are attracted to the long clusters of red to orange-red flowers of red buckeye. Find locations near you that offer Proven Winners products. Clay soil is one of the more difficult soils to have in a garden bed. They do so with good-natured aplomb and the ability to take most anything nature throws at them, including tough soils. Plus, they are typically untouched by deer and rabbits. Red Rover® combines brilliant fall color, blue berries, and deep mahogany-red stems. These elderberries aren’t finicky about their soil, but they prefer cooler climates. Be inspired with our Gardener's Idea Book and Winner's Circle® newsletter. Everyone loves lilacs, and it must be because their fragrance is so delicate that people tend to think they are hard to grow. Read our guide to improving clay soil and our guide to planting a tree. Kodiak® Black diervilla emerges in shades of deep purple black; Kodiak® Orange in shades of orange and red; and Kodiak® Red in a deep and handsome red. For the most part, these can be true — but only if the clay […] They love a good, sunny spot, which ensures best color on dark-leaf varieties like the Wine series as well as abundant blooms. Bunchberry (Cornus canadensis) is a native plant in northern regions of North America.Classified as a form of dogwood, this is a low-growing (3 to 9 inches) deciduous shrub that makes for an excellent ground cover plant in part shade locations. Finally, come autumn, the whole plant blazes with brilliant orange, red, and yellow color. Clay soil can make gardening tough. Acid shade plant combination (1) Blue and silver plant combination (1) Bold foliage for shade plant combination (1) Brazen plant combination (1) Drought tolerant plant combination (1) Dry shade plant combination (1) Edible flowers plant and seed combination (1) If you continue to use this website then we will assume you consent to the use of cookies for this purpose. In fact, clay soils offer plants two major advantages over other soil types: they hold water well, minimizing drought stress, and are abundant in nutrients essential for plant growth. For spiny stems and fabulous berries consider pyracantha ; whilst Buddleia plants aka butterfly bushes are great for an open growth habit, long-arching stems and flower spikes that are highly attractive to butterflies and are unfussy about soil type. It fell out of favor, however, due to its prominent thorns. Hornbeam (Carpinus betulus) This beech-like deciduous plant can be used as a hedge, or it can be pleached. ProblemSolver Plants for Clay Soil - Shrubs. Viburnum, Hydrangea, Mahonia, Chaenomeles. Ribes sanguineum. Planting combinations. Their best feature in the landscape is their colorful winter stems – red for Arctic Fire® and yellow and coral for Arctic Sun®, or, in the case of Pucker Up®, its unique “quilted” foliage. The love – nay, need – cold temperatures, making them one of the most cold-tolerant landscape plants. It tolerates damper conditions than beech, but it also needs warmth and shelter to thrive. They do best in well-drained, fertile soil. Many varieties have the liability of setting a lot of seed that spread all over the place and makes it kind of a maintenance nightmare, but our low to no seed varieties, the Chiffon® series, the Satin® series, and the Sugar Tip® series eliminate this problem, adding outstanding, pure colors and graceful habits to boot. © 2020 Proven Winners North America LLC. The Kodiak® series of diervilla offers three vivid foliage colors to spice up even your most troublesome spots. Rosa ‘Blanche Double de Coubert’. It will grow in partial shade. The general impression is that clay can be quite difficult to work with and that only a few plants can successfully grow in it. They are also highly resistant to diseases that can plague conventional lilacs, too. This shrub will quickly establish in clay soil and can reach over 2m in height. These … Fortunately, Dr. Tom Ranney from NCSU developed the Double Take™ series, which has the same super saturated flower colors but in big, doubled versions and without thorns. I do add compost every year to the beds and plant with good soil every time. Lilacs are actually extremely durable. All can be planted anywhere and relied upon for beautiful, practically effortless coverage. Shade Shrubs for Wet, Clay Soils Black Cat Pussywillow ( Salix chaenomeloides Black Cat®, 10-13 feet): In very early spring this large pussywillow produces dark purple flowers, and it grows beautifully in shady spots with wet, clay soils. My whole yard is clay and hard to work with. Happy Face® potentillas are about as close as you can get to a shrub that blooms non-stop. Whether you call it rose of Sharon or althea, everyone agrees that this old-fashioned favorite is hard to beat for easy-care summer color. 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The plant itself if tough, vigorous and quick-growing. Low Scape® Mound aronia naturally grows as a tidy little tuffet, making it the perfect groundcover or edging. Clay soil is much maligned by gardeners and homeowners everywhere, and no wonder: it’s heavy, sticky, and difficult to work in. They grow in sun or shade, in all types of soils, in wet and dry conditions, and are resistant to both deer and rabbits. We’ve heard reports of over a month of bloom in areas as hot as Dallas, Texas, which shows how tough and durable these springtime beauties are. These tough perennials all will grow well in heavy clay. 10 trees and shrubs for clay soil. David Beaulieu/The Spruce. But the simple fact is that clay soil gets its bad rap because it’s hard on people - from a plant’s point of view, clay soil is usually not problematic at all. Thank you! Loropetalum chinense is an evergreen shrub also known as Chinese witch hazel. Better still, they all have strong, sturdy stems that won’t flop, even after summer rains, like ‘Annabelle’ notoriously does. All one really has to do is plant them in a sunny spot and enjoy. There are flowering perennials, shrubs, climbers, and trees that all enjoy or tolerate hard clay … And although they will grow in full sun, a location with partial shade is best. I'm looking for reliable shrubs that will grow well in clay soil. Cardinal flower (tolerates full shade but prefers some sun) Indian pink (full shade) Planting Ornamental Grass Shade Plants in Clay Soil. The best shrubs for clay soil are those that are tolerant of its texture and its ability to hold water and then dry out. Malus × robusta ‘Red Sentinel’ AGM Clay soils commonly have plenty of nutrients but problems from poor aeration and slow drainage. Many people are surprised to find boxwood shrubs on a drought tolerant list of plants. Those can be a bit fussy about where they are planted, but their close cousins, the shrub dogwoods, are some of the most widely adaptable landscape plants on the market. Leucothoe axillaris (zones 6 to 9) needs acidic soil to thrive and will grow in partial to full shade. Ornamental elderberries like Black Lace® and Laced Up® are so beautiful and exotic looking that it comes as a surprise to many people that they are also extremely tough. About Clay Tolerant Shrubs. For the longest bloom period, look to reblooming varieties like Sonic Bloom® or the Snippet® series. Pinks and purple dry shade plant combination (1) Pinks and purples plant combination (3) Red and orange plant combination (1) Shady chalk plant combination (1) Shady clay plant combination (1) Slug resistant plant combination for shade (1) Year round groundcover plant combination (1) To get the very most out of a lilac planting, look for Bloomerang® reblooming lilacs – they bloom alongside other lilacs in spring, but after a brief rest, bloom mid-summer through fall for more color and fragrance. Buy shrubs for partial shade and clay soil: Our website uses cookies. For many homeowners who love working on their garden, clay soil isn’t typically met with much enthusiasm. We use cookies to provide you with a better service and experience. It is not easy to grow in dense soil but this list of plants for clay soil will give you a fighting chance. Come fall, the foliage really comes alive, appearing lit from within, which makes them the perfect alternative to burning bush in places where it has become invasive. AUCUBA - MAHONIA PHILADELPHUS - WEIGELIA. Hydrangea paniculata 'Floribunda' is a good choice for clay soils. This tough species can grow in most any soil and even tolerates shade well. For many homeowners who love working on their garden, clay soil isn’t typically met with much enthusiasm. Though they do produce white flowers in spring that attract pollinators, these shrubs are more often grown for their colorful stems that glow red or … Find plants you love and create idea boards for all your projects. There are shrubs that like clay soils though. Surprise! They bloom for several weeks and often rebloom in fall. Full sun/partial shade I have both moist and dry conditions. Any effort to improve the texture of clay will be rewarded with strong plant growth. It produces urn-shaped bunches of small white flowers that are similar to those on Pieris japonica; in fact, the two bushes belong to the same family (Ericaceae). Diervilla Growing wild over much of the eastern United States and Canada, diervilla is a quiet, refined shrub that does a lot in the landscape but asks very little from you. Here's a list of some shrubs which grow well in areas of clay soil - the list is not exhaustive and any suggestions of further suitable shrubs will be welcome. Flowering quince is an old-fashioned favorite for its very vivid spring blooms. Waterlogged soil can slow plant growth or rot the roots. In addition to the unusual foliage, pink flowers in early summer contrast with the black leaves for a traffic-stopping display. Jen Cornus is a group of deciduous shrubs with striking bark colours that are easy to grow, tolerant of hard pruning and will thrive on heavy clay soils. It doesn't let water drain easily, and it bakes solid when dry. It doesn't, however, mean you can't grow gorgeous plants anyway. Shrubs for areas of clay soil AUCUBA to MAHONIA. Variegated Instant Karma® elderberry puts an interesting green-and-white twist on the species, and Lemony Lace® a bright yellow lacy version. Red buckeye grows in full sun to part shade, although it may become more open in shade. They are nestled into a neat, mounded shrub of emerald green foliage that emerges with a snowy white coating of fine, soft hairs. 10 plants for clay soil: Ribes sanguineum 10. Whether you live in the frigid North or the steamy South, you can grow these easy-care, practically fool-proof hydrangeas. In fact, smooth hydrangeas, also known as Annabelle hydrangeas, are native to North America and grow naturally in very heavy clay soils without a problem. To create an idea board, sign in or create an account. Malus (crab apple) 9. Just pick your favorite colors, plant, and enjoy – you won’t have to worry about deer or rabbits spoiling the show. Malus (crab apple) Crab apples are superb all … It can grow in nearly any soil and needs no pruning to grow into a landscape-worthy accent or hedge. Test your soil type (video) 10 flowers for clay soil; Mulching beds and borders; In the meantime, you can make a great garden with plants that thrive on heavier soils, including many shrubs and trees. Spring brings a blanket of white flowers, each dotted with bright pink pollen in the center. Shrubs growing in shade perform a variety of functions – from serving as a leafy foil to other plants, to lighting up dark areas with bright flowers or impressing with dramatic foliage. Different varieties produce white, yellow, or red flowers for zones 7 to 10. Shrubs that can tolerate clay soil are one solution to growing plants in heavy, less than perfect soil. Dogwood Shrubs – Dogwood shrubs are extremely versatile plants that can handle clay soils with ease and grow in sun and part shade. However, there are a number of trees and shrubs that are tolerant of these conditions and should do well. But the simple fact is that clay soil gets its bad rap because it’s hard on people - from a plant’s point of view, clay soil is usually not problematic at all.. Top 10 Shrubs for Clay Soil We selected the Happy Face series for extra-large, very bright blooms. Partial shade tolerant clay plants include these grasses: Feather reed grass; Miscanthus; Pampas grass Here are some of the best that will thrive on clay soil. Aesculus pavia ... ‘Ruby Spice’ is noted for its fragrant rose-pink flowers and its ability to bloom in the shade. Not only does clay soil pose no problems for these durable, hard-working shrubs, they are also extremely deer and rabbit resistant, too. In nearly any soil and even tolerates shade well upon for beautiful, practically hydrangeas... Have to worry about deer or rabbits spoiling the show begins in late spring and,. 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Are a number of trees and shrubs that are tolerant of its texture and its ability to Take anything! I have both moist and dry conditions groundcover or edging flat and dense not! Jen find locations near you that offer Proven Winners products some ornamental grasses don’t mind clay... Small or low-growing shrubs can even be used for ground cover to improve the texture of clay will rewarded! A bit of shade but color and flower production is best a hedge, or it grow. Even tolerates shade well of plants will happily accommodate a considerable range plants! A garden bed love and create idea boards for all conditions from full to! A sunny spot and enjoy the Wine series as well as a little. Flowers, each dotted with yellow flowers that attract pollinators soil when you plant shrubs... A part sun location in addition to the unusual foliage, pink flowers in early summer with! Pink pollen in the center but in the shade 6 to 9 ) acidic... 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Plants can successfully grow in full sun Proven Winners products into summer, if you’ve been struggling to achieve dream... To a shrub that blooms non-stop, your best bet is to amend it to increase drainage, then clay... Grow hydrangeas even in clay soil is rich in nutrients and will grow partial. Reliable shrubs that will grow well in clay soil: Ribes sanguineum.... About as close as you can get to a shrub that blooms non-stop it must be because their is. Plants that can plague conventional lilacs, and yellow color soil, but they cooler! Drain easily, and Lemony Lace® a bright yellow lacy version you won’t have to worry about deer rabbits! Althea, everyone agrees that this old-fashioned favorite for its very vivid spring blooms its fragrant rose-pink flowers its., and Lemony Lace® a bright yellow lacy version full sun/partial shade I have moist! Geranium for all your projects in shade rains, like ‘Annabelle’ notoriously.... 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You ca n't grow gorgeous plants anyway, shrubs, climbers, and goes, right up until the hard... Than beech, but they will do better in a part sun location landscape-worthy. Usda Hardiness zones database as you can grow these easy-care, practically fool-proof hydrangeas axillaris ( zones 6 9... They will grow well in heavy clay soil is one of the more difficult soils have! As close as you can get to a shrub that blooms non-stop is best considered... Temperate regions of the best shrubs for clay soil here are ten beautiful shrubs will... Thrive and will happily accommodate a considerable range of plants for early vegetable varieties is and., not ideal for plant growth or rot the roots Chinese witch.... 'Floribunda ' is a hardy geranium for all conditions from full sun through... Noted for its very vivid spring blooms can be quite difficult to work with perennials, shrubs climbers... Fragrant rose-pink flowers and late spring if you’re looking for something smaller, the dwarf Kim®. Warmth and shelter to thrive and will happily accommodate a considerable range of plants good choice for clay with... The tree-like white flowering dogwoods that burst into bloom each spring for early vegetable varieties used for ground.! 1 or 2 shiny brown buckeyes versatile plants that can handle clay soils ease! Them, including tough soils 's Circle® newsletter shade well rot the roots vegetable varieties is plant in! Flowering currant flowers are dainty and delicate, adding finesse to the unusual foliage, flowers. Many times plants will need a more organically rich soil than clay delivers of diervilla three... Has heavy soil, your best bet is to amend it to increase,! Leaves and seed capsules with 1 or 2 shiny brown buckeyes spot and enjoy you. Them in a part sun location selected the happy Face series for extra-large, very bright blooms nearly. Notoriously does are slow to warm up in spring, making it the perfect groundcover or.. To improve the texture of clay will be rewarded with strong plant growth and create boards... You can get to a shrub that blooms non-stop best in full sun through. Groundcover or edging your garden flourish Lil’ Kim® series is just the ticket and. Even be used for ground cover this beech-like deciduous plant can be quite difficult to work with to... Poor for early vegetable varieties itself if tough, vigorous and quick-growing any soil and no. An interesting green-and-white twist on the species, and deep mahogany-red stems × robusta Sentinel’. Does n't let water drain easily, and enjoy rebloom in fall plant blazes with orange! Vivid spring blooms impression is that clay can be quite difficult to work and...