Road salt tolerant perennials - Knowledgebase Question

Clawson, MI
Question by pandalady299
August 23, 2006
I live on a main road that receives a lot of road salt during the winter months. My flower bed facing the road is a southern exposure, receiving heat and sun for more than 8 hours a day. Any suggestions for perennials and annuals?


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Answer from NGA
August 23, 2006

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The following Michigan nursery has a page listing salt tolerant plants, but not annuals and perennials. http://www.huntree.com/idealis.... I couldn't find much definitive info on that, which seems surprising. However, since annuals don't have to live more than a year (!), salt build-up shouldn't be a huge factor. I'd layer several inches of well-aged compost on top of the bed and turn it under before each planting season to freshen the soil.

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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