Inula Royleana
Midwest Gardening
Hellstrip Plants

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To create a low maintenance boulevard garden in the hellstrip, drought tolerant plants are ideal.  In northern regions where deicing salts are used heavily, only plants that are salt tolerant will survive.  Here are several ideas to get you started but you should also ask your local nursery about drought tolerant native plants to consider.

black-eyed susans, phlox, daylilies, grasses, and sedum.

 

There are a couple of terms you need to know:

    Xeric - adapted to very dry growing conditions

    Succulent - a plant that has fleshy stems, often xeric (like a cactus)

Street planting1

Ajuga stepable  Zones 3-9 Tolerates dry soil but not drought, light foot traffic

Alyssum Annual Tolerates heat and drought, tolerates poor soil, limited self seeding, fragrant

Amur Maple  Zones 3-6 Prefers moist well drained soil, will tolerate dryness

Apache Plume Fallugia paradoxa  Zones 4-9  Extremely tough shrub, thrive in drought and heat, saline tolerant

Artemisia ‘Silver Mound’  Artemisia schmidtiana  Zones 3-7 Prefers moist well drained soil, tolerates poor soil, moderately drought tolerant, moderately salt tolerant

Astilbe  Zones 4-8  Prefers part to full shade in moist soil, very salt tolerant.  (plant info)

Beautyberry Callicarpa americana Zones 5-8  Tough shrub, slightly drought tolerant, slightly salt solerant, prefers moist and sun to part shade

Big Leaf Hydrangea (Lacecap) Hydrangea macrophylla  Zones 5-9 Many Varieties Prefers moist well drained soil, moderately salt tolerant

Black-Eyed Susan Rudbeckia Zones 4-9  Tough perennial, drought tolerant

Blanket Flower Gaillardia grandifolia  Zones 3-10  Drought resistant prairie perennial, blooms heavily, reseeds, highly salt tolerant  (plant info)

Blue Fescue  Festuca trachyphylla  Zones 4-9  Extremely tough perennial grass, thrives in drought and heat, prefers average well drained soil, saline tolerant

Blue Fescue ‘Elijah Blue’ Festuca glauca  Zones 4-9  Drought and heat tolerant perennial grass, prefers avaerage well drained soil, moderately salt tolerant

Blue Grama Grass Bouteloua gracilis Zones 3-10  Perennial prairie grass, prefers a good well drained soil, tolerant of dry soil and drought,

Blue Lyme Grass Elymus arenarius  Zones 4-10 Perennial grass, prefers moist well drained soil but very tolerant of dry soils, high salt tolerance, spreads agressively.

Bluebeard ‘Dark Knight’ Caryopteris x clandonensis Zones 5-9  Extremely tough shrub, tolerant of drought and heat, saline tolerant

Bottlebrush  Callistemon rigidus Zones 8-11  Small xeric tree, very drought tolerant, moderately salt tolerant

Butterfly Weed Ascelpias tuberose  Zones 3-9  Xeric perennial, thrives in average and dry soil, moderately salt tolerant

California Poppies Zones 7-10  Annual in the north, extremely tough, self seeds, extremely drought tolerant, saline tolerant

Candytuft  Iberis sempervirens Zones 7-10 shrub, dieback perennial in the north, thrives in well drained poor soil, very drought tolerant, moderately salt tolerant

Canna and hybrids  Zones 7-10 annual in the north  Slightly drought tolerant, slightly salt tolerant, prefers well drained to moist rich soil.

Catmint Nepata  Zones 3-8  Drought tolerant perennial, tolerates poor well drained soil, salt tolerant.

Cinquefoil Potentilla nepalensis  (herbaceous sub shrub i.e., ‘Miss Wilmot’)   Zones 4-9  Extremely tough perennial, thrives in drought and heat, saline tolerant

Coneflower  Echinacea  Zones 3-9  Tough perennial, tolerates poor soil, drought tolerant, slightly salt tolerant  (plant info)

Coral Bells Heuchera micrantha  Zones 4-9  Prefers moist well drained rich soil, moderately salt tolerant

Cotoneaster ‘Little Gem’ Cotoneaster adpressus Zones 4-7  Extremely tough shrub, thrives in drought and heat, thrives in poor soil, saline tolerant

Creeping Rosemary ‘Prostratus’ Rosmarinus officinalis  Zones 8-10  Extremely tough groundcover, thrives in drought and heat, highly saline tolerant, fragrant.

Creeping Sedum ‘Goldmoss’ and “Golden Stonecrop’ Sedum acre Zones 3-8 Tough perennial groundcover, drought and heat tolerant, stepable, highly salt tolerant.

Creeping Thyme Thymus praecos ssp. Arcticus  Zones 4-9  Tough perennial groundcover that stands up to foot traffic, very drought tolerant.

Cushion Phlox Phlox subulata Zones 3-8  Tolerates poor and dry soil, light foot traffic

Daffodil Narcissus Prefers sun to part shade, slightly salt tolerant, and drought tolerant as it is dormant after spring bloom.

Daylily  Hemerocallis species and hybrids Zones 3-9  Tough perennial, drought tolerant, highly salt tolerant, sun or some shade

Daylily ‘Stella de Oro’ Hemerocallis  Zones 3-9 Drought tolerant perennial, somewhat tolerant of poor soil, moderately salt tolerant

Dianthus Pulminarius x allwoodii  Zones 4-9  Drought tolerant perennial, high salt tolerance.  (plant info)

Dusty Miller Annual, tolerates poor soil, requires moist soil.

Flax  Linum  Zones 3-9  Drought resistant perennial, reseeds

Forsythia  Forsythia x intermedia  Shrub, will tolerate poor well drained soil, drought resistant, moderately salt tolerant

Fountain Grass Pennisetum alopecuroides  Zones 5-9, annual further north, prefers moist soil,  will tolerate poor well drained soil, moderately salt tolerant

Four o’clocks  Self seeding annual, thrives in poor soil, drought tolerant

Foxglove  Digitalis  Zones 4-8 Self seeding biennial,  prefers part shade, will tolerate dry soil, moderately salt tolerant.

Gazania ‘Tanager’ Gazania krebsiana  Zones 7-10  Extremely tough perennial, thrives in drought and heat, saline tolerant.

Globe Thistle  Echinops nanaticus  Zone 3-8  Thrives in nearly any soil, drought resistant perennial

Hakone Grass Hakonecloa macra Zones 5-9  Perennial grass, prefers part shade and moist rich soil,  salt tolerant.

Hardy Hibiscus Hibiscus moscheutos and Hibiscus coccineus Perennia., prefers moist well drainted soil, prefers sun to light shade, slightly salt tolerant

Hardy Ice Plant Delosperma cooperi and Delosperma nubigenum  Zones 5-9  Xeric succulent,  drought tolerant, moderately salt tolerant

Hen and Chicks Sempervivum tectorum Zones 3-11  Very tough, very drought resistant xeric succulent, moderately salt tolerant

Hummingbird Mints (Hyssop) Agastaches  Zones 5-10  Perennial, prefers well drained poor soil, drought tolerant  (plant info)

Hummingbird Plant Dicliptera suberecta  Zones 7-11  Perennial, prefers well drained enriched soil,  heat and drought tolerant, moderately salt tolerant.

Hummingbird Trumpet (California Fuschia)  Zauwchneria californica  Zones 8-10 Extremely tough xeric perennial, thrives in drought and heat, saline tolerant

Indian Hawthorn Rhaphiolepis indica  Zones 7-10  Perennial, tolerates poor soil, tolerates drought, moderately salt tolerant.

Iris  Zones 3-9  Perennial, tolerates drought

Juniper ‘Blue Pacific’ Juniperus conferta Zones 5-9  Xeric evergreen groundcover, prefers well drained soil, tolerates poor soil, highly salt tolerant.

Lantana  Lantana camara and Lantana montevidensis  Zones 9-11 Drought tolerant perennial, xeric, highly salt tolerant

Lantana  ‘Trailing Lavender’ Lantana montevidensis  Zones 8-11 Extremely tough perennial ground cover,  thrives in drought and heat, tolerates nearly any soil condition, salt tolerant.

Lavender Zones 5-9  Drought tolerant perennial, prefers dry well drained soil, fragrant

Lead Plant Amorpha canescens  Extremely tough perennial wild flower, thrives in drought and heat, saline tolerant

Liriope spreading Liriope spicata Zones 5-10  Grass like perennial, full sun to full shade, prefers moist to well drained average soil, highly salt tolerant groundcover, spreads aggressively.

Liriope Liriope muscarii  Zones 6-10  Grass like perennial, light to full shade, prefers moist to well drained average soil, drought and heat tolerant,  highly salt tolerant groundcover

Maiden Grass ‘Morning Light’  Miscanthus sinensis Zones 5-8  Xeric tough perennial grass, prefers moist well drained soil, highly salt tolerant.

Manzanita Arctostaphylos uva-ursi  Zones 5-10  Extremely tough shrubby groundcover, prefers poor soil, thrives in drought and heat, saline tolerant

Mexican Sunflower Tithonia rotundifolia  Annual, requires well drained soil, drought tolerant,  prefers sandy poor soil, reseeds,

Muhly Grass Muhlenbergia capillaris  Zones 5-10  Xeric perennial grass, prefers well drained poor soils, drought tolerant, highly salt tolerant.

Penstemon  Zones 3-8  Perennial, thrives in well drained gravely soil, drought resistant

Peony Requires moist enriched, well drained soil, moderately salt tolerant

Pinelieaf Penstemon Penstemon pinifolius  Zones 4-9 Extremely tough xeric perennial, thrives in drought and heat, saline tolerant

Pinks Dianthus Dianthus gratianopolitanus  Zones 4-9  Drought tolerant perennial, prefers well drained to xeric soil, moderately salt tolerant  (plant info)

Prairie Coneflower Ratibida pinnata  Zones 3-9  Extremely tough perennial, requires well drained soil, thrives in drought and heat, saline tolerant 

Red Hot Poker Kniphofia species and hybrids   Zones 6-10  Perennial, requires well drained, moist soil, does not tolerate heat and drought without water, slightly salt tolerant

Red Yucca Hesperaloe parviflorashe  (this is not a yucca, but has a similar appearance) Zones 7-10  Extremely tough perennial, prefers dry sandy soil, thrives in drought and heat, saline tolerant

Reed Grass ‘Karl Foerster’  Calmagrostis acutifolia  Zones 3-9  Perennial grass, prefers moist fertile soil but tolerates dry sandy soil, thrives in clay, high salt tolerance

Ribbon Grass  Phalaris arundinacea  Zones 4-9  Perennial grass, tolerates nearly any soil and condition, slightly salt tolerant, very invasive

Rock Rose Cistus sp  Zones 8-10  Perennial, tolerates dry rocky soil, drought tolerant, salt tolerant

Rose of Sharon Hibiscus syriacus  Zones 5-8  Shrub, prefers moist well drained enriched soil, moderately salt tolerant

Rosemary Rosmarinus officinalis  Zones 8-10  Extremely tough perennial, thrives in drought and heat, highly saline tolerant, fragrant.

Ruby Grass Melinus nerviglumis  Zones 8-11  Drought tolerant perennial grass, adaptable

Rugosa Rose Zones 3-7  Shrub rose, prefers moist well drained enriched soil, but is highly adaptable, very high salt tolerance.  Easy care shrub rose.  (plant info)

Russian Sage Perovskia atriplicifolia  Zones 3-9  Extremely tough perennial, thrives in drought and heat, slightly salt tolerant, fragrant

St John’s Wort ‘Beach’ Hypericum reductum Zones 7-9  Xeric perennial groundcover, prefers full sun, well drained to dry soil, drought tolerant, slightly salt tolerant.

‘Salt Survivor’ turf grass by Northrup King.  Drought tolerant, resists disease, stands up to heavy foot traffic, for high saline soils or road salt damaged turf.  (I personally am not crazy about the grasses in the mix, but definitely worth a try in high salt boulevards.)

Salvia ‘Mojave Sage’ Salvia pachyphylla  Zones 5-10 Extremely tough perennial, requires well drained soil, xeric, thrives in drought and heat, saline tolerant

Sand Cherry ‘Pawnee Buttes’ Prunus pumila var besseyi  Zones 3- 8 Groundcover shrub Extremely tough, thrives in drought and heat, saline tolerant

Sandwanka Viburnum Viburnum suspensum  Zones 8-10 Shrub, tolerates heat, tolerates poor soil, high salt tolerance.

Sea Holly Eryngium planum  Zones 3-11  Extremely tough perennial, thrives in drought and heat, moderately salt tolerant

Sea Lavender Limomium latifolium Zones 4-11  Perennial, prefers sandy soil, tolerates wind, moderately salt tolerant.

Sea Thrift Armeria maritime  Zones 4-8  Perennial, prefers well drained poor soil, high salt tolerance.

Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ Sedum spectabile Zones 4-9  Perennial, tough, drought tolerant but prefers regular watering, moderately salt tolerant.

Silver Buffaloberry Shepherdia argentea  Zones 3-9  Extremely tough shrub, thrives in drought and heat, saline tolerant.

Smoke tree Zones 4-8  Very tough small tree, adapts to poor soil, drought tolerant

Snow in summer Cerastium tomentosum  Zones 3-7  Extremely tough perennial groundcover,  prefers poor well drained soil, thrives in drought and heat, saline tolerant.

Spring Blooming Bulbs including crocuc, daffodil, tulip (especially specis tulips), and hyacinth are very summer drought tolerant.  They only need spring rain and go dormant after blooming.  Daffodil is also slightly salt tolerant.

Trident Maple  Zones 5-8 Small Tree, will tolerate poor soil, drought tolerant, moderately salt tolerant.

Turk’s Cap Malvaviscus drummondii  Zones 7-  Perennial, prefers well drained soil, tolerant of poor soil, drought tolerant, moderately salt tolerant.

Verbena Verbena canadensis  Zones 6-9 Perennial, prefers sun to light shade, moist to well drained, slightly salt tolerant

Vinca  Vinca Minor  Zones 4-9  Perennial ground cover, prefers part shade, prefers moist well drained enriched soil but will adapt to average soil, salt tolerant.

Wildflowers prefers well drained but average to poor soil, drought tolerant.

Winter Creeper Euonymous fortunei Zones 5-9  Evergreen broad leaf groundcover shrub, prefers full sun, prefers well drained soil, prefers regular watering, highly salt tolerant,

Wintergreen Barberry Berberis julianae  Zones 6-8  Evergreen shrub, adapts to soil conditions, drough tolerant, prefers sun to part shade, moderately salt tolerant.

Yarrow ‘Paprika’  Achillea  Zones 3-8 Extremely tough perennial, prefers enriched well drainedd soil, thrives in drought and heat, saline tolerant. (plant info)

Yarrow  common, Zones 3-8  Perennial, very tough, tolerates poor soil, drought resistant, xeric, moderately salt tolerant  (plant info)

Yucca  Yucca gloriosa and Yucca aloifolia  Zones 6-9  Xeric perennial, very drought tolerant, high salt tolerance.

Yucca ‘Adam’s Needle’ Yucca filamentosa  Zones 5-19  Pernnial, very adaptable to soil and moisture conditions, drough tolerant, moderately salt tolerant.

Zinnia  Zinnia angustifolia Annual, very tough, thrives in poor sandy soil, drought tolerant.

Curbside garden

 

Caution:  highly invasive plants that should not be used:  Ribbon Grass Phalairis arundinacea, Amur Silver Grass/Hardy Pampas Grass Miscanthus sacchariflorus

Visit High Country Gardens website, “Beautiful Plants for the Waterwise Garden” for more ideas.

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