Best Plants for Clay Soil

Clay soil is really much more of a problem for gardeners than it is for plants.

Sedum by Midwest Gardening.jpg

Clay soil may be tough for a gardener to work, but it holds water and nutrients well. Those are big advantages for plants. There are a great deal of plants that love clay soil, and even more that tolerate it very well.

  • Aster: Full sun; zones 4-8

  • Astilbe: Shade/part shade; zones 3-8

  • Bearded Iris (German Iris): Late spring blooms, zones 3-9

  • Bee Balm (Monarda); full sun; zones 4-8

  • Blackeyed Susan (Rudbeckia): Full sun; zones 4-9

  • Blue Cardinal Flower (Lobelia): Shade; zones 3-9

  • Butterfly Bush (Buddleia): Full sun; zones 5-9

  • Chokecherry shrub (Aronia): Full sun/part shade; zones 3-7

  • Coneflower (Echinacea): Full sun; zones 3-9

  • Daylily: Full sun; zones 3-9

  • Dogwood shrub: Full sun/shade; zones 2-8

  • Elderberry shrub: Full sun/part shade; zones 4-7

  • Flowering Quince shrub: Full sun/part shade; zones 4-8

  • Hosta: Shade; zones 3-9

  • Joe Pye Weed; Full sun; zones 4-8

  • Liatris; Full sun; zones 4-8

  • Lilac shrub: Full sun to part shade; zones 3-7

  • Phlox: Full sun; zones 4-8

  • Potentilla shrub: Full sun; zones 2-6

  • Rose of Sharon Hibiscus shrub (Althea): Full sun/part shade; zones 5-9

  • Sedum: Full sun; zones 4-8

  • Smooth Hydrangea (arborescens) shrub: Part shade; zones 3-9

  • Viburnum: Full sun; zones 5-8

  • Weigela shrub: Full sun/part shade/ zones 4-8

These are all readily available and easy to grow garden plants. There are also many prairie flowers that will do very well in clay, but may spread aggressively.

Sharon DwyerComment