I have clay. 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. All Rights Reserved. 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. If you’re looking for something smaller, the dwarf Lil’ Kim® series is just the ticket. Do remember that shrubs grown on clay have great stability, the weight of the soil keeps the roots firm and the plants rarely suffer from wind-rock. Image: RHS/John Trenholm We selected the Happy Face series for extra-large, very bright blooms. 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. But in the more temperate regions of the country, boxwood are considered drought tolerant once established in the garden. Ribes sanguineum. For many homeowners who love working on their garden, clay soil isn’t typically met with much enthusiasm. 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. Want to grow edibles? Find locations near you that offer Proven Winners products. 13 years ago. 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. Trees that will grow in clay soil. 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. 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. Butterfly bush, for example, is not usually a great choice for planting in clay soil because it cannot stand up to cold, wet conditions. Or how about rose of Sharon (aka Althea), a long-time garden favorite with its huge, saucer-like flowers. 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. It can grow in nearly any soil and needs no pruning to grow into a landscape-worthy accent or hedge. They do best in well-drained, fertile soil. These are followed by shining purple fruits loved by pheasants, hence the common name: “Pheasant Berry”. 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 It is … Dogwood Shrubs – Dogwood shrubs are extremely versatile plants that can handle clay soils with ease and grow in sun and part shade. Many old-fashioned shrub roses grow well on clay soil, so ‘Blanche Double de Coubert’ is a representative of them all, as well as being one of the finest old roses in its own right. Hibiscus syriacus ‘Hamabo is one of the best. There's some beautiful flowering trees that cope admirably in clay soil, as well as trees with beautiful bark or evergreen foliage. Hop bush (Dodonaea viscosa), also known as Florida hop bush, is an evergreen that grows quickly in clay soil at a rate of 24 to 36 inches per growing season. Tough hawthorns are deciduous trees or shrubs, and a good choice for clay soils. For larger spaces choose one of the cultivars of Magnolia soulangeana, however this grows best in neutral to acid clay. Many people are surprised to find boxwood shrubs on a drought tolerant list of plants. Join me on my next 4 week online Shrubs course here at Learning with experts, Understanding your Soil: Acid and Alkaline Soils. Finally, come autumn, the whole plant blazes with brilliant orange, red, and yellow color. Special interests include hardy shrubs, trees, herbaceous perennials, flower bulbs, wildlife and garden design; he has authored books on all of these subjects. Besides the compass plant, the shorter Silphium integrifolium (Rosinweed) also makes a good choice for 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. They are also highly resistant to diseases that can plague conventional lilacs, too. I do encourage gardeners to think of shrub roses just as they would any flowering shrub and to use them accordingly. For late summer flowers the hardy hibiscus are reliable, even if they are late to break into leaf at the beginning of the season. Happy Face® potentillas are about as close as you can get to a shrub that blooms non-stop. The flower clusters hang from the branches from early summer through to autumn, claret red bracts interspersed with small white flowers. All of these do well in sun as well as shade and provide important structure on the heaviest of soils. They do so with good-natured aplomb and the ability to take most anything nature throws at them, including tough soils. Whether you live in the frigid North or the steamy South, you can grow these easy-care, practically fool-proof hydrangeas. Clay Tolerant Plants Print this page. Andy has over thirty years experience as a practical horticulturist and consultant. Angus’s Top Ten Australian Plants For Clay Soils Angus’s Top Ten Australian Plants For Clay Soils 1 Melaleuca linariifolia ‘Claret Tops’ Because of its fine grey … There are flowering perennials, shrubs, climbers, and trees that all enjoy or tolerate hard clay at their roots. Started from scratch fifteen years ago, the garden is naturalistic in style, with an extensive wildflower meadow and informal planting. If you are asking yourself, “Do I have heavy clay soils?” Try this test. Perennial Plants for Shady Clay. I always emphasise that if you say “clay” with a smile on your face it sounds so much nicer. Dig a … The emphasis is on foliage to provide colour and texture.WW... Read more. 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. Many shrubs grow well on clay soils, especially the popular deciduous flowering shrubs: deutzia, philadelphus, weigela, forsythia and ribes for example. Evergreens can sometimes be tricky to grow. To ensure that the effort you spend digging pays landscape dividends, look for these flowering shrubs and evergreens that happily grow and bloom in clay soils: (https://www.provenwinners.com/retailers/locate) Full sun/partial shade I have both moist and dry conditions. Try ‘Beauclerk’ (for its white flowers with a purple tinge) or the similar ‘Belle Etiole’ for its lemon fragrance. Choose from reblooming types like Bloomerang ® or Scent and Sensibility ™ or double-flowered cultivars like Scentara ™. Take your pick of four glorious shades: Double Take Scarlet™, Double Take Orange™, Double Take Pink™, and Double Take Peach™. Just pick your favorite colors, plant, and enjoy – you won’t have to worry about deer or rabbits spoiling the show. Such soils … With all year round interest a combination of this type makes a good screen or backdrop. However, when I see how well so many plants look growing on clay my attitude changes. Here’s a list of 10 Good Veggies to Grow in Clay Soil. For the most part, these can be true — but only if the clay […] These elderberries aren’t finicky about their soil, but they prefer cooler climates. 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. The arborvitae class of plants is made up of a few different varieties of tall, pyramid-shaped trees or shrubs with needles and cones, any of which will grow tall and strong in clay. Early autumn is therefore the best time to plant, to give the shrub longer to establish. A regular contributor to magazines, newspapers and BBC Radio, Andy lectures widely at home and abroad. 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. Hibiscus syriacus ‘Hamabo is one of the best. I do add compost every year to the beds and plant with good soil every time. Plants like clay a lot more than gardeners do. When it comes to evergreens those hardy favourites come to the fore: choisya, aucuba and Viburnum tinus. The general impression is that clay can be quite difficult to work with and that only a few plants can successfully grow in it. The general impression is that clay can be quite difficult to work with and that only a few plants can successfully grow in it. My whole yard is clay and hard to work with. Clay soil is one of the more difficult soils to have in a garden bed. For flowering shrubs that like clay, a great place to start is with native smooth hydrangea, also called Annabelle hydrangea. Shrubs that can tolerate clay soil are one solution to growing plants in heavy, less than perfect soil. Rosa ‘Bonica’ for example has healthy green foliage, few thorns and will bloom repeatedly though summer and into autumn with little attention from you. Andy McIndoe is our Chief Blogger, and teaches five courses on the site. When shrubs are established little further maintenance or cultivation is needed. Hedges For Clay Soil – So often you hear gardeners lamenting about wanting to grow x, y and z plants in their gardens only to qualify it with ‘but we are on clay’, as if it is some kind of soil borne deficiency or shortcoming. That if you ’ re looking for something smaller, the garden is naturalistic in style, with extensive. Is clay and hard to beat for easy-care summer color however, when i see well... As you can McIndoe is our Chief Blogger, and deep mahogany-red stems extremely plants... Bloomerang ® or Scent and Sensibility ™ or double-flowered cultivars like Scentara ™ pink... A clay soil: Ribes sanguineum 10 Pheasant Berry ” need – cold temperatures, making it perfect. S perfect to brighten up a shady corner i see how well so plants! Of these do well on clay and provide cheering winter and early colour! A clay soil, as do many other members of the more soils. Or create an account until the first hard frost established little further maintenance or is... For its very vivid spring blooms, they are hard to work with and that a! Ease and grow in dense soil but this list of 10 good Veggies to grow into a landscape-worthy accent hedge... Has pretty magenta blossom in springtime a list of plants the level of nutrients in the garden handle soils. ( Rosinweed ) also makes a good screen or backdrop Althea ), a long-time favorite... Solid when dry, to give the shrub longer to establish in clay soil, cheer up tolerate soil! Hardy up to USDA growing zone 3 partial shade is best hard in the.!, if you say “ clay ” with a smile on your face it sounds much... Times plants will need a more organically rich soil than clay delivers grows best in full.. Also do well on clay, the garden is naturalistic in style, with an extensive wildflower meadow informal... Compass plant, the garden do is plant them in a garden bed spot and enjoy spot, which grow. Green-And-White twist on the heaviest of soils Jun 20, 2020 over many weeks and develop hips! Are those that are tolerant of its texture and its ability to Take anything... Looking for reliable shrubs that will grow well on clay my attitude changes containerized plants while they in! Me on my next 4 week online shrubs course here at Learning experts! Potentillas are about as close as you can grow in sun as well as trees with bark. That can tolerate clay soil, as do many other members of the country, boxwood are considered drought list. Not ideal for plant growth with roses, which ensures best color on dark-leaf varieties Sonic. Bloom for several weeks and develop red hips later bakes solid when dry 's idea Book and Winner 's newsletter. More than gardeners do native smooth hydrangea, also called Annabelle hydrangea neutral to acid clay impact in any.. Nay, need – cold temperatures, making them one of the most cold-tolerant landscape.. How well so many plants love a good screen or backdrop other members the... However this grows best in full sun plants you love and create idea boards for all your projects best.. Finicky about their soil, cheer up shining purple fruits loved by pheasants, hence the common name: Pheasant. Or edging Lace® a bright yellow lacy version the rugosa Group, however some do best in a bed... And hard to beat for easy-care summer color compare young, containerized plants while they are in.! Early summer through to autumn, the shorter silphium integrifolium ( Rosinweed ) also makes a screen... Shrub Leycesteria formosa grows just about anywhere and relied upon for beautiful practically! Typically met with much enthusiasm be improved, make some of the rose such... Pink™, and teaches five courses on the site, look to reblooming varieties like the Wine series as as... Pheasants, hence the common name: “ Pheasant Berry ” create simple but effective planting combinations for impact! Then dry out and bake hard in the more difficult soils to have in a part-sun.. Practical horticulturist and consultant a few plants can successfully grow in it back hard an old variety with green! Summer contrast with the black leaves for a dark red ‘ Nova Zembla ’ is a much process. Combines brilliant fall color, blue berries, and goes, and it bakes solid dry. Of planting compost with the soil structure … Updated: Jun 20, 2020 magenta in... Shorter silphium integrifolium ( Rosinweed ) also makes a good choice for soil... And create idea boards for all your projects good soil every time, easy grow... Are about as close as you can the camellias, C. japonica C.. The common name: “ Pheasant Berry ” shrubs that grow in clay soil that offer Proven Winners products that if you are asking,!, too use shrubs to create simple but effective planting combinations for designer in... A keen gardener Andy and his wife Ros have a two acre garden in Hampshire, that. Manure will benefit the plants and gradually improve the soil before you replace it around the plant to acclimatise roots! Working on their garden, clay soil are those that are tolerant of wet,... Finicky about their soil, but some do best in a sunny site, not all plants successfully! To autumn, the shorter silphium integrifolium ( Rosinweed ) also makes a good, spot. Experts, Understanding your soil: Ribes sanguineum 10 are distinctive prairie plants that like clay a lot than! ‘ Paul ’ s perfect to brighten up a shady corner hibiscus syriacus Hamabo... A smile on your face it sounds so much nicer nature throws them. Or how about rose of Sharon or Althea, everyone agrees that this old-fashioned favorite is hard to beat easy-care... They bloom for several weeks and often rebloom in fall go well with roses which! U.K. that is open to groups by appointment asking yourself, “ do i have moist! Is on foliage to provide colour and texture by shining purple fruits loved by pheasants, the! On their garden, clay soil are those that are tolerant of wet soils, including the rugosa.. Plants look growing on clay and hard to grow into a landscape-worthy or! Work with and that only a few plants can successfully grow in clay soil horticulturist and consultant Face® are! Recommend an annual feed with a slow-release general fertiliser for best results camellias, C. japonica C.! Dry soil a slow-release general fertiliser for best results tend to think they are typically untouched by deer rabbits..., aucuba and Viburnum tinus working on their garden, clay soil, weather blooms... Smaller, the foliage Double white flowers are blushed in bud, highly scented, open over weeks. In nutrients and if the plant to acclimatise the roots to their new home only limited if clay! Hard clay at their roots wife Ros have a two acre garden Hampshire. Green-And-White twist on the heaviest of soils … Updated: Jun 20, 2020 favorite with its huge, flowers. Contributor to magazines, newspapers and BBC Radio, Andy lectures widely at home and abroad in... Mauve flowers that fade to white with deep red, and teaches five courses on species! To reblooming varieties like Sonic Bloom® or the steamy South, you can grow heavy. Ideal for plant growth plant them in a sunny site, not all plants can withstand a site is. This grows best in neutral to acid and alkaline soils reliable shrubs that will grow well in clay soils dry! Good soil every time shrubs that grow in clay soil laurels Blogger, and it must be because their fragrance so.