Shrubs for clay soil

Wed. Apr. 25, 2018

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show:  Shrubs for clay soil

Clay soil, that thick, glue-like stuff, many of us have but wish we didn’t.

Clay soil

So what’s good about clay soil…  give me minute… okay, found some…

Clay soils are more fertile than many other soil types; each tiny clay particle is packed with places to hold on to water and fertilizer.

Plants can get a firm grip, their roots are more stabilized. So, with a clay soil you water less, fertilize less, get a better foundation for your plants and extend their hardiness when extremes in weather or other factors occur.    Like this year!

On the other hand, clay soil is heavy, mucky, harder to work with and holds bad things too, like salt.

Let’s say you’ve got clay soil, so what are the best shrubs to plant?  Let me tell you about a few!

Aronia, aka as Chokeberry, comes to mind quickly.  Aronia (there are 2 species, black and red) is a beautiful North American native with multi-season appeal. Spring brings a blanket of white flowers, each with bright pink pollen in the center. Summer brings purple-black fruits or red and come autumn, the whole plant blazes with brilliant orange, red, and yellow color.   Red Chokeberry 

Red Chokeberry in the Fall

Black chokeberry

Black chokeberry
Black Chokeberry ‘Viking’ dwarf

The above Black Chokeberry grows between 3 and 5 feet tall!  This shrub can grow in most any soil and even tolerates shade well.

Lilacs and smooth hydrangea also tolerate clay soil quite well!

Lilac ‘Virtual Violet’

I love hydrangeas and the Invincibelle series is pretty awesome with it’s strong stems that won’t flop in heavy rain.

Hydrangea Invincibelle ‘wee white’

And what about weigela?  Well, it’s good in clay too.  They do prefer a nice sunny location!  Czeck this one out from Proven Winners!

Weigela ‘Czeckmark Trilogy’