Salt Tolerant Container plants - Knowledgebase Question

San Diego, CA
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Question by bbus1
February 12, 2006
I am interested in finding a hardy container plant.

1) Evergreen
2) Full sun
3) Ocean / salt spray

A few plants I have planted have not done well and I now believe it is because of the ocean breeze/salt.

One is the Potato plant (tree form) and they are planted in the ground. At the moment they are completely bare.

The other is a type of ficus. It is grown as a hedge and the side that gets the ocean breeze is not growing.

Answer from NGA
February 12, 2006
Salt tolerant? refers to those plants highly resistant to salt drift that can be utilized in exposed areas. Some shrubs to consider include:

Oleander (Nerium oleander). A fast-growing, salt tolerant, evergreen shrub that can be found in a variety of flower colors and as well as a dwarf form. All parts of this plant are poisonous.
Yaupon Holly (Ilex vomitoria). A small, salt tolerant native tree with small leaves and many branches that can be grown in areas ranging from full sun to full shade.

Dwarf Yaupon Holly (Ilex vomitoria ?Nana?). A dwarf variety of the tree listed above.
Silverthorn (Eleagnus pungens). Fast growing, salt tolerant, sprawling shrub with leaves that are silver underneath.
Pittosporum (Pittosporum tobira). A popular salt tolerant hedge plant with whorling green or variegated leaves.

Groundcovers, Bedding Plants & Vines:

Confederate Jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides). Both the regular and the dwarf forms are moderately salt tolerant.
Purple Queen (Setcreasea spp.). This purple leafed, salt tolerant groundcover is a vibrant addition to a bed in full or part sun.
Purslane/Portulaca (Portulaca spp.). Succulent, salt tolerant summer annual available in a variety of flower colors.
Mondo Grass (Ophiopogon japonicus). Salt tolerant, low growing ground cover for part to full shade areas.
Bougainvillea (Bougainvillea spp.). Thorny-stemmed, salt tolerant vine available in a variety of vibrant flower colors.
Kalanchoe (Kalanchoe spp.). Salt tolerant perennial plant that produces pink, yellow, or orange-red flowers during the winter and spring.

Hope these suggestions help you find just the right plants!

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