Hemerocallis 'Forgotten Dreams'

10 flowers for clay soil

Discover 10 plants that thrive on clay soil, including roses and daylilies.

Clay soil has its advantages – it's very fertile, and it keeps plants well supplied with moisture. However, it can be claggy in winter, and baked solid in summer, and only certain plants can survive these conditions.

Any clay soil will benefit from efforts to improve its texture. Mulch generously in spring with well-rotted organic matter, coarse grit or bark – around a barrowload per square metre. Watch our video on mulching beds and borders.

Not sure what soil your have? Find out your soil type.

In the meantime, you can make a great garden with plants that thrive on heavier soils – here are some of the best plants for clay soil.

Advertisement

Roses

Roses thrive on clay soil, and there are different types to choose from, including rambling roses, climbing roses and shrub and species roses. Discover 10 beautiful roses to grow or browse our plant database for over 200 roses to grow.

Daylily

Mostly yellows and tawny oranges, the lily-like flowers of hemerocallis (daylilies) open in succession all summer. Avoid expensive or weak-looking hybrids, as they tend to be too fussy. Height: 40cm-1m.

Foxglove

Both our native foxglove, Digitalis purpurea, and cultivated forms grow and self seed on heavy soil, in sun or light shade. Height: 1-2m.

Euphorbia characias subsp. wulfenii

Euphorbia characias subsp. wulfenii is a bushy perennial that has blue-green foliage all year. It's topped in spring by lime-green flower heads, adding zing to sun or light shade. Height: 120cm.

Elder

The pale pink flowers and dark purple foliage of Sambucus nigra 'Black Lace' are a winning combination. The berries are edible, and are loved by birds, too. Height: 2-3m.

Hydrangea macrophylla

Hydrangea macrophylla has dome-shaped clusters of flowers in blue or pink that smother this blousy shrub in July and August. Protect from cold, drying winds. Height: 1.5m.

Lychnis coronaria

Choose a sunny spot for the grey-leaved campion, Lychnis coronaria, with its scarlet cross-shaped flowers held on upright stems in summer. Height: 90-120cm.

Thalictrum

The delicate, frothy flowers of Thalictrum dance all summer long on the tall stems of this perennial, which likes semi-shade. Height: 120cm.

Persicaria

The flower spikes of Persicaria, in shades of pink or terracotta, appear all summer. It's a great plant for ground cover in sun or semi-shade, and the leaves also provide autumn colour. Height: 30-120cm.

Chinese lantern

Grown for its autumn display of papery orange lanterns, which can be dried for indoor displays, Physalis alkekengi var. franchetii is a vigorous perennial that likes sun or partial shade. Height: 75cm.

Clay soil has its advantages – it's very fertile, and it keeps plants well supplied with moisture.

Advertisement

Discover more ideas and inspiration

Related content

Six shade-loving plants for autumn

Ground cover plants for sun

How to plant heleniums

Related offers

Offer

Heather offer

Save on heathers

Inject some colour into your winter and spring planting schemes with this beautiful collection of hardy heathers from only £2.55 per plant. These ericaceous plants make brilliant weed-suppressing ground cover and look fantastic with spring bulbs. Order now and your plants will be despatched from February 2018.

Order now

Offer

Monty Don Ireland holiday

Meet Monty in Ireland

Explore some of Ireland's most breathtaking gardens on an exclusive four-night tour. Special guest Monty Don will join you for a garden tour and give an entertaining evening talk on his gardening life. Flights, four-star hotel, breakfast and four additional meals included in price.

Use code: GWIR

Order now

Offer

Primula 'Gold Lace'

Save £60 on primulas

Buy a pack of three 9cm-potted primula 'Gold Lace' plants for half price at £15, or save £60 when you buy nine for just £30. These established hardy perennials will flower from March, adding early colour to your garden. Order now and your plants will be despatched from February 2018.

Order now