Clay Tolerant Plants

Clay soils can be challenging for gardeners here in the Rogue Valley: they're hard to dig, they're easily waterlogged, plants tend to grow more slowly in them, and some plants just won't grow in them at all. While there are a number of strategies you can use to moderate the effects of clay soils, one of the best places to start is to focus on working with plants that tolerate the conditions provided by clay and other heavy soils. The list below is designed to get you off to a good start in selecting plants that will happily grow in these soils!

Key to Comments:

W - tolerates wet soil
DR - Deer Resistant
FW - FireWise
N - Native Plant
NSW - No Summer Water
P/W - Pollinator/Wildlife Friendly

Ferns | Grasses and Grass-like Plants | Perennials | Vines | Shrubs | Trees
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  Botanical Name

  Common Name

  Comments

FERNS
Adiantum sp. Maidenhair Fern W, DR, N
Asplenium scolopendrium Hart's Tongue Fern W, DR
Athyrium nip. Pictum Japanese Painted Fern W, DR
Blechnum spicant Deer Fern W, DR, N
Cyrtomium fortunei Holly Fern W, DR
Dryopteris erythrosora Autumn Fern W, DR
Matteuccia struthiopteris Ostrich Fern W, DR
Polystichum sp. Sword Fern W, DR, N
GRASSES & GRASSLIKE PLANTS    
Andropogon sp. Big Bluestem Grass DR
Bouteloa ‘Blonde Ambition’ Blue Grama Grass DR
Calamagrostis ‘Karl Foerster’, ‘Overdam’ Feather Reed Grass W, DR
Carex sp. Sedges W, DR, N (some species)
Deschampsia sp. Tufted Hair Grass W, DR, N
Juncus sp. Rushes W, DR, N (some species)
Liriope sp. Lilyturf DR 
Miscanthus sinensis Maiden Grass W, DR
Muhlenbergia sp. Deer Grass DR, N
Panicum virgatum Switch Grass W, DR
Pennisetum sp. Fountain Grass DR
Schizachyrium scoparium Little Bluestem Grass DR
Sporobolus Prairie Dropseed DR, N
PERENNIALS    
Achillea sp. Yarrow DR, N, P/W
Aconitum napellus Monkshood W, DR
Amsonia sp. Bluestar DR
Anemone japonica Anemone, Wind Flower DR
Aquilegia formosa Western Columbine W, DR, N, P/W
Asclepias sp. Milkweed, Butterflyweed DR, N (some species), P/W
Aster sp. Aster P/W
Baptisia australis False Indigo DR
Camassia leichtlinii Great Camas W, N, P/W
Campanula sp. Bellflower DR, FW
Canna sp. Canna Lily  
Ceratostigma plumbaginoides Dwarf Plumbago W, DR
Coreopsis verticillata Tickseed W
Digitalis sp. Foxglove  
Eupatorium purpureum Joe Pye Weed W, DR, P/W
Geranium cantabrigiense Hardy Geranium DR, FW
Geranium sanguineum Bloody Cranesbill DR
Geum sp. Geum  
Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’ Perennial Sunflower P/W
Hemerocallis sp. Daylily W, DR
Heuchera sp. Coral Bells DR, N (species), P/W
Hosta Hosta W
Iris siberica Siberian Iris W, DR
Isotoma sp. Blue Star Creeper  
Kniphofia uvaria Red Hot Poker DR, P/W
Lamium sp. Deadnettle W, DR
Liatris spicata Gayfeather DR, P/W
Lysimachia nummularia Creeping Jenny W
Monarda sp. Bee Balm W, DR, P/W
Pachysandra terminalis Pachysandra  
Paeonia sp. Peony DR, FW
Phormium sp. New Zealand Flax W
Rudbeckia ‘Goldsturm’, ‘Little Henry’ Black-eyed Susan DR, P/W
Salvia nemorosa Woodland Sage DR, P/W
Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ 'Autumn Joy' Sedum DR, FW, P/W, NSW
Solidago rugosa 'Fireworks' 'Fireworks' Goldenrod P/W
Vinca minor Dwarf Periwinkle DR
VINES    
Campsis radicans Trumpet Vine DR, P/W
Lonicera sempervirens Honeysuckle DR, P/W
Parthenocissus Virginia Creeper DR
Passiflora Passionflower  
SHRUBS    
Amelanchier alnifolia Western Serviceberry N, FW, P/W
Arctostaphylos sp. Manzanita DR, N, P/W, NSW
Aronia Black Chokeberry W, FW, P/W
Berberis sp. Barberry DR, FW
Buddleia Butterfly Bush DR, P/W
Callicarpa Japanese Beautyberry W
Callistemon Bottlebrush DR, P/W
Calycanthus occidentalis Spice Bush W, DR, N
Chaenomeles Flowering Quince DR, FW
Cornus stolonifera Red Osier Dogwood W, FW, N
Corylus sp. Hazelnut P/W
Cotinus coggygria Smoke Tree DR
Distylium Distylium W, FW
Euonymus alatus compactus Dwarf Burning Bush DR, FW
Garrya elliptica Western Silk Tassel FW, N
Hamamelis Witch Hazel FW, P/W
Hibiscus syriacus Rose of Sharon W, DR, P/W
Hydrangea sp. Hydrangea FW
Hydrangea macrophylla Big-leafed Hydrangea FW
Ilex verticillata Winterberry W
Itea virginica Virginia Sweetspire W, DR, FW, P/W
Leucothoe Leucothoe W
Leptospermum sp. Tea Tree DR
Mahonia sp. Oregon Grape DR, FW, N, P/W
Myrica californica Pacific Wax Myrtle W, DR, FW, N
Osmanthus Sweet Osmanthus DR, FW, P/W
Philadelphus lewisii Mock Orange W, DR, FW, N, P/W
Physocarpus capitatus Pacific Ninebark W, FW, N, P/W
Potentilla Cinquefoil DR
Rhamnus purshiana Cascara FW, N
Rhus aromatica 'Gro-Low' Fragrant Sumac FW, N
Rhus glabra Smooth Sumac FW, N
Ribes ‘Crandall’ 'Crandall' Black Currant DR, FW, P/W
Ribes sanguineum Pink-flowered Currant DR, FW, N, P/W
Rosa nutkana Nootka Rose DR, FW, N, P/W
Sambucus sp. Elderberry W, FW, N (some), P/W
Spirea douglasii Douglas Spirea W, DR, FW
Spiraea japonica 'Gold Mound' 'Gold Mound' Spirea DR, FW
Symphoricarpus albus Snowberry W, DR, FW, N
Syringa Lilac FW
Viburnum opulus ‘Roseum’ European Cranberry Bush W
TREES    
Acer rubrum Red Maple W
Acer griseum Paperbark Maple  
Acer saccharinum Sugar Maple W
Alnus sp. Alder W, N (some), P/W
Betula nigra River Birch W
Carpinus carolinia American Hornbeam FW
Celtis sp. Hackberry  
Cercidiphyllum japonicum Katsura Tree  
Cercis canadensis Eastern Redbud FW
Chionanthus virginicus Fringetree  
Cornus florida Flowering Dogwood FW
Cornus kousa Kousa Dogwood FW
Crataegus sp. Hawthorn DR, P/W
Gingko biloba Ginkgo, Maidenhair Tree DR
Fraxinus latifolia Oregon Ash W, N
Lagerstroemia Crape Myrtle DR, FW
Liquidambar styraciflua Liquidambar W
Liriodendron tulipifera Tulip Poplar  
Malus var. Crabapple P/W
Magnolia sp. Magnolia  
Nyssa sylvatica Tupelo, Sour Gum W
Parrotia persica Persian Ironwood  
Platanus occidentalis Sycamore, Plane Tree W, N
Quercus macrocarpa Bur Oak DR, P/W
Quercus phellos Willow Oak W, DR, P/W
Sassafras albidum Sassafras  
Thuja plicata Western Red Cedar  
Tilia americana 'Redmond' Linden P/W
Ulmus parvifolia Chinese Elm, Lacebark Elm W
Zelkova Zelkova W