Salt Tolerable Plants

Gardens near coastal areas are subjected to environmental challenges that are much different than those planted further inland. With the sand blowing, poor soil conditions, higher temperatures, and a lot of drainage, some plants are put to the test on whether or not they will perform well - especially when you add salt spray to the mix. Most plants will not hold up against salt accumulating on their foliage. This makes choosing the right plants for this type of landscape especially challenging.

Salt spray are tiny droplets of salty water that comes from waves breaking on the beach. Breezes carry these salty droplets in land where they can find their way into your garden. The amount of sea spray lessens as it travels further from the shore, allowing less tolerant plants to survive. However there are a few things you can do to increase the chance of your gardens survival.

The amount of spray on plants can be lessened by building barriers. You could build a natural barrier or a man made barrier. If you decide to go for natural protection, you can create what occurs naturally. In maritime forests, beachfront plants protect landward species by creating barriers of foliage to block the spray. If you decide to try using man made barriers, buildings, fences and other structures can be used to block salt spray and will allow less salt tolerable plants to grow. Overhead irrigation can also help by rinsing salt accumulations off plant foliage.

Lucky for you, we have compiled a list of salt tolerable shrubs, ground covers, perennials, grasses and trees to help your coastal garden last much longer than a few windy days.

Berberis thunbergii (Japanese Barberry)

Berberis thunbergii (Japanese Barberry)

Cornus sericea (Red Twig Dogwood)

Cornus sericea (Red Twig Dogwood)

Rosa rugosa (Rugosa Rose)

Rosa rugosa (Rugosa Rose)

Shrubs

Berberis thunbergii (Japanese Barberry)
Buddleia davidii (Butterfly Bush)
Buxus sp. (Boxwood)
Caryopteris clanondensis (Bluebeard)
Clethra alnifolia (Summersweet)
Cornus sericea (Red Twig Dogwood)
Cotoneaster sp. (Cotoneaster)
Cytisus scoparius (Scotch Broom)
Euonymus sp. (Euonymus)
Hydrangea macrophylla (Big Leaf Hydrangea)
Ilex glabra (Inkberry)
Ilex sp. (Holly)
Ilex verticillata (Winterberry)
Juniperus sp. (Juniper)
Ligustrum ovalifolium (California Privet)
Myrica pensylvanica (Northern Bayberry)
Phyllostachys sp. (Running Bamboo)
Pieris japonica (Andromeda)
Pinus mugho (Mugo Pine)
Potentilla fruticosa (Cinquefoil)
Prunus cistena (Purple Leaf Sand Cherry)
Prunus maratima (Beach Plum)
Rosa polyantha (Seafoam, New Dawn or Fairy Roses)
Rosa rugosa (Rugosa Rose)
Skimmia japonica (Japanese Skimmia)
Spirea sp. (Spirea)
Syringa vulgaris (Common Lilac)
Vaccinium corymbosum (Highbush Blueberry)
Viburnum dentatum (Arrowwood Viburnum)
Vitex agnus-castus (Chaste Tree)
Yucca fillamentosa (Yucca)

Arabis caucasica (Rock Cress)

Arabis caucasica (Rock Cress)


Groundcovers

Ajuga reptans (Bugleweed)
Arabis caucasica (Rock Cress)
Arctostophylos uva-ursi (Bearberry or Kinickinick)
Calluna vulgaris (Heather)
Gaultheria procumbens (Wintergreen)
Hedera helix (English Ivy)
Iberis sempervirens (Candytuft)
Pachysandra terminalis (Pachysandra)

Brunnera macrophylla (Forget Me Not)

Brunnera macrophylla (Forget Me Not)

Cimicifuga racemosa (Snake Root)

Cimicifuga racemosa (Snake Root)

Papaver-orientale-Oriental-Poppy.jpg
Miscanthus sinensis (Maiden Grass)

Miscanthus sinensis (Maiden Grass)

Acer ubrum (Swamp Maple)

Acer ubrum (Swamp Maple)

Perennials

Achillea tomentosa (Yarrow)
Aconitum sp. (Monkshood)
Anthemis tincoria (Golden Marquerite)
Anemone sp. (Anemone)
Aquilegia sp. (Columbine)
Armeria maritima (Sea Thrift)
Artemesia sp. (Wormwood)
Asclepias sp. (Milkweed)
Astilbe sp. (Astilbe)
Aurenia saxitallis (Basket of Gold)
Baptisia australis (False Indigo)
Brunnera macrophylla (Forget Me Not)
Cerastium tomentosum (Snow-In-Summer)
Ceratostigma plumbaginoides (Plumbago)
Cimicifuga racemosa (Snake Root)
Chrysanthemum sp. (Mums)
Coreopsis sp. (Tickseed)
Dianthus sp. (Pinks)
Dicentra spectabilis (Bleeding Heart)
Echinacea purpureum (Coneflower)
Gaillardia sp. (Blanket Flower)
Gaura lindheimeri (Whirling Butterflies)
Hemerocallis sp. (Daylilies)
Heuchera sp. (Coral Bells)
Hibiscus moscheutos (Rose Mallow)
Hosta Sp. (Hosta)
Iris sp. (Irises)
Lamium maculatum (Dead Nettle)
Lavendula angustifolium (Lavender)
Liriope spicata (Lily Turf)
Lythrum virgatum (Purple Loosestrife)
Nepeta sp. (Catmint)
Nipponenthemum nipponicum (Montauk Daisy)
Onethera tetragona (Evening Primrose)
Paeonia (Peony)
Platycodon (Balloon flower)
Papaver orientale (Oriental Poppy)
Perovskia atriplicifiloia (Russian Sage)
Phlox sp. (Phlox)
Rudbeckia hirta (Black Eyed Susan)
Sedum sp. (Stonecrop)
Sempervivum sp. (Hens and Chicks)
Thymus sp. (Thyme)
Veronica (Speedwell)

 

Grasses

Ammophila breviligulata (American Beachgrass)
Calamagrosis sp. (Switchgrass)
Carex sp. (Sedge)
Cortaderia sellona (Hardy Pampass Grass)
Festuca sp. (Fescue)
Pennisetum sp. (Fountain Gras)
Miscanthus sinensis (Maiden Grass)
Muhlenbergia capillaris (Pink Muhly Grass)


Trees

Acer ubrum (Swamp Maple)
Amelancier Canadensis (Serviceberry)
Betula nigra (River Birch)
Cercis Canadensis (Eastern Redbud)
Cornus florida (American Dogwood)
Cupressocyparis leylandii (Leyland Cypress)
Ilex aquifolium (English Holly)
Ilex opaca (American Holly)
Juniperus virginiana (Eastern Red Cedar)
Magnolia virginiana (Sweet Bay Magnolia)
Picea glauca (White Spruce)
Picea pungens    ‘Glauca’ (Colorado Blue Spruce)
Platanus acerifolia (London Plane Tree)
Prunus serrulata (Japanese Cherry)
Tilia cordata (Little Leaf Linden)