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Plants For Gardening With Salt Water Soil

Found predominantly along sea coasts or tidal rivers and estuaries, salty soils occur when sodium builds up in the soil. In most areas where rainfall is above 20 inches per year, salt accumulation is rare because the sodium is quickly leached from the soil. However, even in some of these areas, runoff from winter salted roads and sidewalks and salt spray from passing vehicles can create a microclimate in need of salt resistant gardens.

Growing Salt Resistant Gardens

If you have coastal garden where sea salt will be a problem, don’t despair. There are ways to combine gardening with salt water soil. Salt tolerant shrubs can be used to form wind or splash breaks that will protect less tolerant plants. Trees that tolerate salty soil should be planted closely to protect each other and the soil beneath. Mulch your garden of plants that tolerate salty soil and spray them regularly and thoroughly, particularly after storms.

Plants That Tolerate Salty Soil

Trees That Tolerate Salty Soil

The following is only a partial list of trees that tolerate salty soil. Check with your nursery for size at maturity and sun requirements.

Thornless Honey Locust
Eastern Red Cedar
Southern Magnolia
Willow Oak
Chinese Podocarpus
Sand Live Oak
Japanese Black Pine

Shrubs for Salt Resistant Gardens

These shrubs are ideal for gardening with salt water conditions. There are many others with moderate tolerance.

Century Plant
Dwarf Yaupon Holly
New Zealand Flax
Rugosa Rose
Butcher’s Broom
Sandwich Viburnum

Perennial Plants That Tolerate Salty Soil

There are very few small garden plants that tolerate salty soil in high concentrations.

Blanket Flower
Prickly Pear Cactus
Lavender Cotton
Seaside Goldenrod
Moderately Salt Tolerant Perennial Plants

These plants may do well in your garden and sea salt or salt spray will not be a problem if they are well protected.

Sea Thrift
Hardy Ice Plant
Cheddar Pinks (Dianthus)
Mexican Heather
Nippon Daisy
Crinum Lily
Hens and Chicks
Hummingbird plant

Gardening with saltwater conditions can be a problem, but with thought and planning, the gardener will be rewarded with an amazing special place as unique as its surroundings.

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