Clay Soils: Plants for Heavy, or Dense Soils

Clay, while generally fairly rich, is also a heavy, dense, cold soil. Drainage can be a problem and plants like lavenders, which hate wet feet, don't thrive without soil amendment to promote aeration and drainage.

The following list for growing plants in heavy soils is slanted toward temperate and warm climates, but can be challenged now by many gardeners who grow some of the heat-tolerant plants as tender perennials in colder zones or overwinter them in the house or greenhouse.

Trees, Plants, and Shrubs for Heavy, Clay Soils

Trees Shrubs Vines Herbaceous Plants
Achras zapota
Annona cherimola
Araucaria (species)
Arecastrum romanzoffianum
Blighia sapida
Casimoiroa edulis
Cassia grandis
Cedrus atlantica
Chamaecyparis lawsoniana
Crinodendron dependens
Eriobotrya japonica
Eucalyptus polyanthemos
Eucalyptus rostrata
Eucalyptus sideroxylon
Eugenia (species)
Ficus (species)
Liquidambar styraciflua
Magnolia grandiflora
Melaleuca leucandendra
Michelia champaca
Morus rubra
Pinus pinea
Pinus radiate
Pittosporum undulatum
Pittosporum viridiflorum
Platanus orientalis
Prunus caroliniana
Pyrus calleryana
Taxus baccata stricta
Thuja orientalis
Tipuana tipu
Torreya taxifolia
Trachycarpus fortunei
Ulmus parvifolia

Abelia grandiflora
Acalpypha hispida
Arbutus unedo
Arctostaphylos diversifolia
Bambusa multiplex
Berberis gagnepaini
Buddleia (species)
Canella winterana
Ceanothus arboreus
Ceratostigma (species)
Cestrum (species)
Chaenomeles japonica
Chamairopa humilis
Clerodendrum (species)
Cocculus laurifolius
Cornus capitata
Cotoneaster (species)
Datura suaveolens
Dovyalis caffra
Duranta (species)
Escallonia (species)
Fuschia (varieties)
Galvesia speciosa
Hamelia erecta
Hebe (species)
Heimia mytrifolia
Heteromeles arbutifolia
Hibiscus rosa-sinensis
Hypericum (species)
Ilex (species)
Iochroma (species)
Lagerstroemia indica
Lavandula officinalis
Mackaya bella
Mahonia (species)
Malpighia coccigera
Malvaviscus grandiflorus
Michelia fuscata
Myrsine Africana
Oncoba routledgi
Osteomeles anthyllidifolia
Philyrea latifolia
Photinia serrulata
Pittosporum heterophyllum
Pittosporum tobira
Prunus lusitanica
Psidium cattleianum
Punica granatum
Pyracantha (species)
Raphiolepis (species)
Rhus (species)
Ribes (species)
Rosa (species)
Senecia petasitis
Spriaea cantoniensis
Stenolobium stans
Thevetia nereifolia
Viburnum (species)
Weigela florida
Umbellularia californica
Zamia floridana
Bauhinia corymbosa
Campsidium valdivianum
Clerodendrum thomsonae
Clytostoma callistegioides
Doxantha unguis-cati
Ficus pumila
Jasmium mesneyi
Kennedya rubicunda
Lonicera (check species)
Muehlenbeckia complexa
Pandorea (species)
Phaedranthus buccinatorius
Pyrostegia ignea
Thunbergia (species)
Wisteria floribunda
Acidanthera bicolor
Agapanthus africanus
Ajuga reptans
Amaryllis (species)
Anemone japonica
Aristea eckloni
Aster gracillimus
Aquilegia chrysantha
Brodiaea (species)
Bergenia cordifolia
Brunsvigia rosea
Campanula poscharskyana
Celosia (species)
Chrysanthemum (species)
Cichorium intybus
Cortaderia selloana
Crinum (species)
Cyperus (species)
Dahlia pinnata
Dianella intermedia
Dianthus (species)
Elisena longipetala
Eupatorium sordidum
Euphorbia (species)
Geum (varieties
Gladiolus (species)
Hedychium (species)
Hemerocalis aurantiaca
Kniphofia uvaria
Lobelia erinus
Mentha pulegium
Nepeta mussini
Nerine sarniensis
Oenothera hookeri
Origanum dictamnus
Penstemon (species)
Petasitis fragrana
Petunia hybrida
Phormium tenax
Ranunculus (species)
Rehmannia angulata
Schizanthus wisetonensis
Senecio cineraria
Sisyrinchium (species)
Sternbergia lutea
Veronica (species)
Woodwardia radicans
Zephyranthes candida
Zebrina pendula

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