The Q&A Archives: What perennials should I plant that will survive roadside salt

Question: I live in Zone 5 and have a bed right on the street that gets volumes of road salt each winter. It gets morning sun. What perennials, grasses or bulbs can I put in that will survive the winter. Do not want plants that are too tall, there is a raised bed not too far behind it.

Answer: Not many plants will tolerate salt. Below are flowers that take full sun and intense heat in the Southwest where I garden, which also includes alkaline (salty) soil. It's not exactly the same as road salt, but should be a good starting place to experiment. For perennials, consider coreopsis, yarrow, butterfly weed (asclepias), lavender, catmint, gaillardia. Warm-season annuals that take heat and sun include sunflowers, zinnia, cosmos, salvia, vinca, tithonia, black-eyed Susan, portulaca, celosia, globe amaranth, verbena, four o?clock, and lisianthus. Good luck!

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