Salt tolerant plants

Fri. Sep. 14, 2018

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show:  Salt tolerant plants

I’m sorry but we’re going to talk about winter. I’m not trying to rush you, just prepare you! Prepare you for all that gunk the salt trunks will heave onto your landscape and to tell you there’s help!

Kinda says it all…

Of course, it’s not just the salt trucks but the passing cars that season your yard. In fact, fast moving cars can throw road spray up to 60 feet! Holy cow, slower cars can throw it to 30 feet. Any way you look at it, more lands on your lawn than the road!

Salt can accumulate in your soil and impair the roots ability to absorb water and nutrients, toxic levels build up in the stems and leaf buds essentially dehydrating your plant.

Salt damage on evergreens Photo by Purdue University

For lawns consider growing fine fescues or perennial ryegrass, they’re more salt tolerant that other grasses. Except crabgrass… it’s like the rat of grasses… it.just.won’t.die 

In the shrub department, try Alpine Currants, Common Snowberry or Rugosa Roses

Snowberry bush

As for trees there are some nice choices too. The Honeylocust is one of my favorites. I love it’s changing leaf colors from chartreuse in Spring to dark green in summer. I also like it’s open look which is good if you’re putting a tree near the driveway.

Honeylocust in Spring – this was at my home in 2000!

Some other good choices are Poplars, Jack Pine and Gingko.

Gingko Biloba

For perennials that tolerate salt, consider Hosta, Lenten Rose or Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’. One plant that many believe is overused yet handles salt is Stella D’oro daylily.

Karl Forester reed grass and Little Bluestem are wonderful ornamental grass options.

Grass – Karl Forester 9-2-18

Remember, these are salt tolerant, not completely immune! Spring rains help leach some of that salt, but you could also water the area as well.