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. Red Rover® combines brilliant fall color, blue berries, and deep mahogany-red stems. Jen . So, if you’ve been struggling to achieve your dream garden or landscape in clay soil, cheer up! All one really has to do is plant them in a sunny spot and enjoy. 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. Malus (crab apple) 9. 13 years ago. Be sure to research before planting and check the sun availability in your clay soil locations. My whole yard is clay and hard to work with. Andy has over thirty years experience as a practical horticulturist and consultant. Arborvitae are hardy up to USDA growing zone 3. This tough species can grow in most any soil and even tolerates shade well. 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. In addition to the unusual foliage, pink flowers in early summer contrast with the black leaves for a traffic-stopping display. Malus (crab apple) Crab apples are … For late summer flowers the hardy hibiscus are reliable, even if they are late to break into leaf at the beginning of the season. Here’s a list of 10 Good Veggies to Grow in Clay Soil. Whether you live in the frigid North or the steamy South, you can grow these easy-care, practically fool-proof hydrangeas. Full sun/partial shade I have both moist and dry conditions. They can take a bit of shade but color and flower production is best in full sun. Clay soils can dry out and bake hard in the summer. Tyler Zey. It is not easy to grow in dense soil but this list of plants for clay soil will give you a fighting chance. For the most part, these can be true — but only if the clay […] The grey, catkin-like buds are attractive in winter. Find plants you love and create idea boards for all your projects. We selected the Happy Face series for extra-large, very bright blooms. They bloom for several weeks and often rebloom in fall. Join me on my next 4 week online Shrubs course here at Learning with experts, Understanding your Soil: Acid and Alkaline Soils. The level of nutrients in the soil means that supplementary feeding is rarely required for good flowering and performance. Flowering currant flowers are dainty and delicate, adding finesse to the garden in late spring. Thank you! 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. Their yellow flowers combine well with the golden variegations of spotted laurels. Look for the variety Golden Lanterns with soft golden yellow leaves. Many shrubs grow well on clay soils, especially the popular deciduous flowering shrubs: deutzia, philadelphus, weigela, forsythia and ribes for example. It is incredibly hardy and will even tolerate slightly alkaline conditions. Some are even tolerant of wet soils, including the rugosa group. Ribes sanguineum. 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. With large, saucer-like blooms for months every summer in beautiful shades perfectly suited to sunny days, its prettiness belies an extremely tough plant. It doesn't let water drain easily, and it bakes solid when dry. Planting in clay soils is a much different process than planting in most rich soils. They're also often high in nutrients and if the structure can be improved, make some of the best growing conditions for plants. Butterfly bush, for example, is not usually a great choice for planting in clay soil because it cannot stand up to cold, wet conditions. The semi-double double white flowers are blushed in bud, highly scented, open over many weeks and develop red hips later. The general impression is that clay can be quite difficult to work with and that only a few plants can successfully grow in it. Evergreens can sometimes be tricky to grow. But in the more temperate regions of the country, boxwood are considered drought tolerant once established in the garden. Special interests include hardy shrubs, trees, herbaceous perennials, flower bulbs, wildlife and garden design; he has authored books on all of these subjects. This shrub will quickly establish in clay soil and can reach over 2m in height. Take your pick of four glorious shades: Double Take Scarlet™, Double Take Orange™, Double Take Pink™, and Double Take Peach™. Get advice from Andy McIndoe on how you can use shrubs to create simple but effective planting combinations for designer impact in any garden. Perennial Plants for Shady Clay. These tough perennials all will grow well in heavy clay. The general impression is that clay can be quite difficult to work with and that only a few plants can successfully grow in it. There are flowering perennials, shrubs, climbers, and trees that all enjoy or tolerate hard clay at their roots. For many homeowners who love working on their garden, clay soil isn’t typically met with much enthusiasm. Started from scratch fifteen years ago, the garden is naturalistic in style, with an extensive wildflower meadow and informal planting. Hibiscus syriacus ‘Hamabo is one of the best. If you’re looking for something smaller, the dwarf Lil’ Kim® series is just the ticket. Dogwood Shrubs – Dogwood shrubs are extremely versatile plants that can handle clay soils with ease and grow in sun and part shade. Or how about rose of Sharon (aka Althea), a long-time garden favorite with its huge, saucer-like flowers. I do encourage gardeners to think of shrub roses just as they would any flowering shrub and to use them accordingly. These elderberries aren’t finicky about their soil, but they prefer cooler climates. Trees and shrubs to grow in clay soil. All can be planted anywhere and relied upon for beautiful, practically effortless coverage. Growing it on a clay soil means that its even lower maintenance. Rosa ‘Bonica’ for example has healthy green foliage, few thorns and will bloom repeatedly though summer and into autumn with little attention from you. The show begins in late spring and goes, and goes, and goes, right up until the first hard frost. Clay soils commonly have plenty of nutrients but problems from poor aeration and slow drainage. 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. Rosa ‘Thomas á Becket’ Rose ‘Thomas á Becket’ Roses grow well in clay soil, and there are lots of types and colours to choose from. The Kodiak® series of diervilla offers three vivid foliage colors to spice up even your most troublesome spots. Mahonias also do well on clay and provide cheering winter and early spring colour. For many homeowners who love working on their garden, clay soil isn’t typically met with much enthusiasm. 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. What he should have said was: If you have clay, you will have to make the best of it by choosing the right plants. Choose from reblooming types like Bloomerang ® or Scent and Sensibility ™ or double-flowered cultivars like Scentara ™. They grow well on clay, the foliage stays green and healthy and the flowers can be superb. Get updates from our experts in your inbox. Acer japonicum, palmatum (Japanese maple), Amelanchier lamarckii AGM, Betula (birch), Cratageus (hawthorn), Eucalyptus, Laburnum anagyroides, L. x watereri 'Vossii' AGM, Liquidambar styraciflua, Malus (crab apple), Pyrus salicifolia 'Pendula' AGM (weeping pear), Sorbus USDA Growing Zones: 3 to 8. They love a good, sunny spot, which ensures best color on dark-leaf varieties like the Wine series as well as abundant blooms. Not only does clay soil pose no problems for these durable, hard-working shrubs, they are also extremely deer and rabbit resistant, too. I always emphasise that if you say “clay” with a smile on your face it sounds so much nicer. 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. And you can grow flowering shrubs in clay soil like: Weigela, Buddleja, Forsythia, Hydrangea, Chaenomeles (flowering quince) Roses are also good shrubs for clay especially if it has been improved with organic matter. The flower clusters hang from the branches from early summer through to autumn, claret red bracts interspersed with small white flowers. I have clay. 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. Planting in spring may be difficult if the ground is wet and heavy. If you think you have these conditions, a simple solution without amending your soil would be to use these proven plants from the list below. Want to grow edibles? Clay soils might be heavy to work and a bit challenging, but they are fertile and lend a good deal of support and anchorage. 2. A well known gardener said: “If you have free draining acid, sandy soil, plant rhododendrons; if you have chalk plant clematis; if you have clay move!”. Plus, they are typically untouched by deer and rabbits. Flowering quince is an old-fashioned favorite for its very vivid spring blooms. A keen gardener Andy and his wife Ros have a two acre garden in Hampshire, U.K. that is open to groups by appointment. Better still, they all have strong, sturdy stems that won’t flop, even after summer rains, like ‘Annabelle’ notoriously does. They do best in well-drained, fertile soil. All summer long, all three varieties are dotted with yellow flowers that attract pollinators. Just pick your favorite colors, plant, and enjoy – you won’t have to worry about deer or rabbits spoiling the show. 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