Red clay - Knowledgebase Question

Camas Valley, Or
Question by jannav
April 17, 2010
We have a bank that is red clay that I would like to put in shrubs & plants to hold the soil and beautify that area. What plants would survive in my area?

Answer from NGA
April 17, 2010


There actually are a few plants that not only tolerate clay soils but will help to improve them over time. Echinacea Purple Coneflowers-These plants literally will break up the soil as they grow. They are drought tolerant, sun loving, vibrant and provide food for the Goldfinches. These perennials have many cultivars with different petals, colors, or other characteristics. Painted Daisies-These plants are similar to the Purple Coneflower, but come in different colors. Leucantheum maximum Shasta Daisies-These white daisies came from the mum family and provide cheery blooms similar to, but usually larger than, daisy flowers. Blue Cornflowers-These brilliant blue flowers cover the plant above beautiful, gray, strappy leaves. This plant is also drought tolerant. Daylilies-The daylilies that have naturalized huge sweeps of neglected land are an example of exactly how tough these plants are. Daylilies come in many colors and bloom variations. Lirope-This green, grass-like plant is amazingly tough and does quite well in clay. Coreopsis or Tickseed-This plant is very drought hardy and also very tolerant of clay. It is covered with a mass of small, daisy-like flowers during the summer months, and has delicate, ferny foliage. Rudbeckia or Black Eyed Susans-These cheery perennials look striking massed in front of Purple Coneflowers. Bright yellow petals surround their black centers. Others tolerant of clay soils include: American Ferverfew, Blackberry Lily, Columbine, Feather Reed Grass, Heavenly Bamboo, Honeysuckle, New England Aster, Oxeye Daisy, Perennial Flax, Russian Sage, Stonecrop, Wild Cranesbill and Wild Lilac. Hope you find the right combination of plants for your garden!

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