Last Updated on October 31, 2021 by Phil
What are the best plants for clay soil? Here are some of the most beautiful flowering plants that don’t have a problem, in fact, will thrive in moist or well soils.
Clay soils tend to be problematic for gardeners because it retains more moisture than what most plants would like. And, while you can control how much your water your yard to limit its effect, any slight mistake or even just a few bad days can cause your lovely flower beds to wilt.
As such, a better idea is to choose the right plants that will thrive in clay soil.
Here are our favorites.
Best Plants for Clay Soil
Asters look very much like daisies except that they have a blue or purple color. And, they also bloom later int eh season. This makes them a beautiful alternative if you want other hues besides white.
It is likewise worth noting that while blue and purple are the most popular colors for asters, they are not the only ones available. There are white and pink ones available as well.
Asters are herbaceous perennials that can grow to as tall as 6 feet high. The do best in USDA Hardiness Zones 3 to 8.
You also want to give them full sun (at least 6 hours of sunlight daily) to get the most out of them.
Coneflowers are another beautiful flower. And, they’re well-liked because they bloom for long periods at a time. Also, they’re drought tolerant which makes them easier to care for in case you forget to water them.
While purple coneflowers are the most popular the plant is likewise known for its many different colors.
It is also worth mentioning that coneflowers do look like daisies. But, they do have a more prominent center.
Finally, coneflowers are a good choice if you want to attract hummingbirds, bees and butterflies to your garden.
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Daylilies are a good choice if you want beautiful yet unfussy flowers.
These are amazing because they adapt to almost nay situation. One example is their ability to thrive in different soil conditions including clay. They same is likewise true when it comes its light requirements.
In addition to this, they are rugged and will tolerate years of neglect or little care. Plus, they will get through winters unlike most pretty plants that won’t make it through a few weeks of cols.
Next up in our list of the best plants for clay soil is a tree, more specifically the Magnolia tree.
This is a lovely tree because it produces gorgeous flowers.
And if you come from the South, you’re likely very familiar with them since the flower has come to symbolize that part of the country.
What many people don’t know is that Magnolia flowers actually grow from tree and shrubs. And, among the different Magnolia trees, you’ll find both evergreens and deciduous.
As such, you can choose if you want something that will shed its foliage during the fall (deciduous) or not (evergreen).
That said, there are many different Magnolias, each of which producing their own lovely flowers. The most popular are the white and pink colored ones. But there are many other gorgeous options as well.
Bee Balm are considered are both herbs and herbaceous perennials. They are among the rare herbs that bear flowers.
In fact, Bee Balm acre actually known for their bright colored flowers which come in pink, red and purple colors.
As a member of the mint family, they have similar aromatic and medicinal features. This makes them a good choice if you want to grow a medicinal garden or at least use a part of your yard for growing healing plants.
Bee balm bloom during the summer. They thrive in moist soil which makes clay work for them. They also do like soil that is rich to grow their best.
Black Eyed Susan
Black Eyed Susan has become a common in many garden because of the bright, yellow petals and dark centers. They likewise has rougher textured leaves which aren’t the pretties looking nor the smoothest to the touch.
But, the foliage does make your life as a gardener much easier as it wards away pests.
Black Eyed Susan blooms in the summer. It can grow in both moist and dry soils. Although sun is quite important to it as it needs at least 6 to 8 hours of sunlight daily to produce its beautifully stunning flowers.
Rose of Sharon
The Rose of Sharon is a type of hibiscus. As such, it features a gorgeous flower with a protruding stamen.
Unlike many of the others in our list of best plants for clay soil, the Rose of Sharon is a shrub. So, it will probably work better as part of your garden’s border rather that in flower beds.
To help it grow at its best, it is important to supply this plant with rich, moist soil. It is less fussy about light as it will do well in both full sun and part shade. Although avoid areas with too much shade or lack of bright light as this will cause it to grow slowly and produce fewer blooms.
Elephant ears are actually a group of plants with large leaves which resemble that of the animal’s.
Alocasia, Colocasia and Xanthosoma are among the most common species in this group. They are all prominent foliage plants with oversized leaves that make them beautifully unique.
As a group, elephant ears enjoy, damp and wet soil. This makes them different from most plants who’ll struggle in these conditions. It is also what makes them perfect for clay which tends to retain more moisture than other types of media.
Additionally, it is a good idea to provide it with rich, humusy soil. You can add compost to improve your soil’s quality it is doesn’t have enough organic content.
Foxglove are a different kind of flowering plant. They are tall and thin making them very distinct compared to your traditional flowers.
While there are many foxglove varieties available, most are biennials. That is, they’ll only be around for two seasons. That said, there are some that become perennials depending on where you’re located (due to climate conditions).
Before I go any further, it is important to note that these lovely plants are toxic to people and animals. So, they’re not a good idea if the kids and pets run around or play in the yard often.
That said, foxgloves come in many different colors as well including yellow, red, pink, white and purple, This makes them a great complement to other types of flowers in your yard.
Phlox like moist soil. And, they have trouble with drought and lack of water, both of which will cause them to wilt.
As such, they’re great plants for clay soil because you don’t have to worry about them drying out too quickly.
As with many of the flowers in our list, these are beautiful. While its blooms are not large of overly showy, they grow in clumps which makes them very lovely to look at.
Lilac bushes are shrubs that bloom sometime in the middle of spring. While their flowers are small, these grow in bunches which make them beautiful to look at.
These deciduous shrubs can also grow up to 15 feet high and as wide as 12 feet. As such, they work well as borders, privacy screens or fences.
In case you want something that’s a bit more subtle yet still beautiful, check out sedum plants. These come in a wide variety of colors and sizes.
They can grow up to about 2 feet tall and will bloom later in the year (fall). However, once they do they’ll be around until winter.
These are very easy to care for which makes them very appealing as well.