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Best Plants for Clay Soil?



  • Mark56Mark56 Posts: 1,653
    edited May 2018
    Aquilegia, foxgloves, echinops, rudbeckia all do well here, japanese anemones too. 
  • DampGardenManDampGardenMan Posts: 1,054
    Dubloon said:
    I like Buddleia and recognise its benefits for butterflies but I've read a lot lately about how invasive it is and some advice not to plant it as it is non-native and taking over wild areas damaging other habitats. Other advice is to cut the flower heads before they seed and it is carried on the wind. Any thoughts?
    I read the same. I always cut the first flower heads off to encourage the second wave. But those I left on (and the birds fed on them in hard winters). I can't say I noticed them spreading around. And in our new garden there's a big clump of them at one end of the garden that have probably been there for years, yet they've not really spread. Not an easy one to answer ...
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Posts: 12,000
    Buddleia "Lochinch" is also beautiful too, soft blue with silvery leaves which in this area stay on most of the winter.  I also find alliums do very well in my clay soil, particularly "Christophii".
    North East Somerset - Clay soil over limestone
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 274
    edited May 2018
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  • PosyPosy Posts: 3,601
    I'm surprised no-one has asked you for any information about your clay soil. In no particular order, I would want to know: is it acidic, alkaline or neutral; is it virtually solid clay or do you have some top soil or a mix of clay and loam; does it drain in winter or remain waterlogged for long periods; in summer does it dry and crack and become concrete hard; can you see any worms in it or is it airless and dense? All these things should influence the way you treat it and the things you plant. Many people will say, quite rightly, that they have clay soil, but there are tremendous differences in what that means.
  • raisingirlraisingirl Posts: 7,016
    Quite true, Posy. If you thrust a hand trowel into your soil and carefully lift it out, do you get:
    1 A small pile of soil on each tine and the rest falls through the gaps
    2 Initially a pile of soil which after a minute or so all falls through the gaps
    3 A single pile of soil which just stays on the trowel and doesn't fall through
    4 A sprained wrist. And if you do wrestle the trowel out of the ground again (2 handed) you get a blob of mud stuck to the end of your trowel like a blobby meatball on the end of a cocktail stick.

    However, the plants that are happy in 'clay soil' like roses and astrantia will even grow in the last sort and none of them is especially pH sensitive.  :)
    “It's still magic even if you know how it's done.” 
  • PosyPosy Posts: 3,601
    I agree, RG but I have found that many plants,including roses, won't cope with standing in water all winter. In parts of my garden water rises up your shoes when you walk on the grass any time between October and late April. The clay doesn't drain sufficiently to clear the water, much of which is run off from the hill above.
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  • Beaus MumBeaus Mum Posts: 3,550
    Geums are great in clay too 🧡
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