Stuart Price
Last Updated

Clay soil is one of the toughest conditions that a gardener can suffer from. The dense and wet condition of the clay soil makes planting harder for gardeners. 

It is hard to grow the plant on clay soil because such a surface does not provide enough room for the movement of water and air. This lack of water and air makes it difficult for plants to grow in such a condition. 

So, what should you do if you have clay soil? Are there any plants that can grow in clay soil? Yes, there is a wide range of plants available that can easily grow in clay soil. 

The best thing about such plants is that they can also enhance the texture and drainage of the soil. Not only this, but you can also use those plants to deal with soil hardness and sun exposure. Following is the list of all the plants that can grow well in clay soil.


Plants That Grown on Clay Soil

Do you have clay soil, and you do not know what to plant there? Well, do not worry because this article will help you in that case. Here, you will discover a few unique plants that can grow on clay soil easily. The best thing is that most of these plants do not require a lot of care.

1. Daylily

The daylily is the first plant that we would suggest you plant if you have heavy clay soil. It is a low-maintenance perennial that is quite easy to grow. You will not have to put a lot of effort into doing the care of this plant. 

Another unique thing about daylilies is that only for a single day, each flower blooms. However, you will notice various flowers on each stem. The daylily is a unique plant with flowers in different colours, including yellow, orange, pink-purple, etc. 

Make sure to plant daily in a location that gets the full shade of the sun, which will help in its optimal growth. Because of its unique qualities, the daylily is popular all over the world. For this clay tolerant plant, you can also use compost or organic matter.

2. Hosta

Hosta is another reliable option for people with clay soil. These are unfussy perennial plants that are available in various sizes. Not only sizes but also this plant comes in many colours as well. 

Though it is a shade-loving plant, you can still plant it in sunlight as well. Experts usually suggest planting hosta in an area that gets little sunlight for a few hours each day. 

Just like daylilies, this plant also requires less maintenance and can easily grow in extreme conditions. Also, ensure not to place this plant in a heavily rooted area for its better growth. 

It is because this plant does not flourish in an area with a lot of roots. Therefore, only plant hosta where there are fewer trees so that it does not have to encounter many roots. These hosta plants thrive in clay soil.

3. Coneflower

Another appropriate addition that you can make to your clay soil is the coneflower plant. This plant is also popularly known as echinacea. It results in some gorgeous flowers that will make gardens look beautiful. 

Though coneflower is a good plant to grow, some gardeners do not like that it can attract many bees. But you do not have to worry because most such bees are harmless. 

Apart from bees, you will also notice various butterflies in your lawn if you have planted the coneflower there. Besides, the flowers on the coneflower usually have different colours such as pink, red, yellow, orange, etc. 

You should plant it during the early spring or fall if you want it to grow well. Experts recommend planting coneflower that gets sunlight for around 6 to 8 hours each day. 

Planting it in a shady environment might result in floppy stems and flowers. Therefore, you should choose the appropriate condition for coneflower if you want it to thrive well.

4. Bee Balm

Do you want a flowering plant that can grow in clay soil? If so, the bee balm can be an ideal choice for you. The pink and purple colour of this plant makes it seem elegant. 

As the name represents, this flowering plant attracts a lot of bees. Besides bees, you may also notice numerous other pollinators such as birds, butterflies, flies, and wasps on the bee balm flower. 

Besides, the bee balm grows quickly in a sunny location, due to which you should plant it there. The positive thing about the bee balm is that it is relatively easier to grow and does not require much attention. It can also grow in well-drained soil.

5. Aster

Aster is a popular perennial that produces beautiful plants. You will notice various starry-shaped flowers on this plant that have multiple colours. White, blue, and purple are some of the most popular colours you will notice in the aster plant. 

This plant grows to its fullest during late summer and autumn. A unique thing about aster is that it blooms when most of the other flowers are fading. Further, cool and moist summer is the ideal condition for the growth of aster. 

This plant grows properly during cool night temperatures. However, even if you are planting aster in a hot area, you should not worry about it because it can grow in such conditions. 

Also, make sure that the aster gets enough sunlight for its proper growth. Experts suggest that you should prefer a location with partial shade to full sun. While planting aster, you should also keep the watering factor in mind. 

Remember to provide enough water to the aster plant so that you get a flourishing plant. In the beginning stage of planting, you should provide plenty of water if you do not want the plant to die. In such a way, you will grow the aster plant even if you have clay soil.

6. Black-Eyed Susan

Blacked Eyed Susan is one of the most popular plants in native North America. Apart from North America, the black-eyed Susan is also known in various parts of the world. This plant gives birth to a golden-yellow flower whose centre is black. 

Most experts recommend that you should plant black-eyed Susan at a location that has high soil temperature. If your soil temperature is around 70°F, then seed germination will become easier for you. 

Most North Americans start planting this plant between March to May. If you also grow this plant from March to May, you will find its flowers growing from June to September. 

The best thing about this plant is that it enjoys the sun. Full sun is ideal for the growth of this plant. However, even if there is part shade, this plant will still grow there. The length of this plant is around 1 to 3 feet tall. However, some of these plants can even grow high. 

Apart from the height, the width of this plant is between 12 to 18 inches. It is also recommended that you should plant the seeds close to each other. In such away, you can avoid spreading the plant from each other to make a beautiful border.

7. Potentilla

To enhance the beauty of your lawn, you can also add the potentilla plant. This plant is also popularly known as shrubby cinquefoil. In some parts of the world, a potentilla is also called bush cinquefoil. 

It is some of the famous landscape shrubs that have a long bloom time. The potentilla plant can even withstand tough conditions like clay soils. 

Other than clay soils, you can also plant them in areas with salt air and more air pollution. Though it can endure a challenging environment, it is still not recommended to plant it in high humidity and hot summer regions. 

The potentilla is that it is suitable for a beachfront and urban location. Another positive factor of the potentilla is that it is highly reliable with greater toughness.

8. Compass Plant

The compass plant is quite popular because of its name. This plant has got the name “Compass” because of its leaf’s orientation. It gives the shape of a wild sunflower, but they are not the same plants. 

With this plant, you will notice a group of yellow flowers at the top of the plant that seems quite impressive. In terms of height, the compass plant is quite similar to the cup plant. It has a height of around 8′. 

However, some compass plants can have smaller heights, while a few may even be taller than 8′. Like other mentioned plants, compass plants can also grow easily in clay soils. 

In the mid-summer, this plant blooms for around 3 to 4 weeks. With this plant, you will enjoy a sunflower-like bloom which will enhance the charm of your garden. 

Further, many gardeners love planting the compass plant because it requires less care. This minimal care will make the compass plant an ideal choice for not experts in gardening. However, experts suggest keeping this plant in full sun so that it gives the best results.

9. Crabapple

Crabapple is another plant from the rose family. It is famous both in Asia and North America. This plant results in decorative fruit and spring flower display. Another thing that many gardeners like about crabapple is its growth habit. 

The size of crabapple fruit is quite small. The width and height of this plant are usually around 15 to 20 feet. There are multiple varieties, such as semi-dwarf and dwarf, that you will get with this plant. 

5 to 10 feet is usually the height of these varieties, which may vary. If possible, try planting crabapple in an area that gets full sun. A minimum of 6 hours of sun each day will be enough for the optimal growth of this plant. 

Another positive thing about this plant is its bloom time. It usually blooms from mid to late spring. Further, the crabapple flowers come in various colours, including red, pink, white, and magenta.

Some varieties of this plant produce darker flowers, while a few may result in lighter flowers. If you want to plant crabapple in your clay soils, then make sure to choose the spring or fall season. Though crabapple can grow in clay soils, it grows better if the soil is moist.

10. Drooping Coneflowers

Drooping coneflower is quite similar to coneflower. It is also known as a pale purple coneflower which comes from the daisy family. This plant has drooping petals with white or pale purple colour. 

These unique petals will be a beautiful addition to your garden beds. It has sweet nectar that may attract various bugs. Apart from bugs, you may find many hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees around the coneflower plant. 

You can pair this plant with other wildflowers such as catmint etc. Pairing it with wildflowers will make your garden look great. As compared to other similar plants, the growth rate of dropping coneflower is less. 

Most experts recommend planting it during the spring or early summer. Further, this plant also has multiple varieties, and all of them grow well in clay soil. 

The best thing about drooping coneflower is that it has many uses in the field of medicine. In the past, people used to utilize this plant as a herbal remedy. Even still, some people in North America use it to treat coughs and colds. 


Though each of the mentioned plants can grow on clay soil, you may still need to put different amounts of care into each plant for better growth. Before planting any clay plant, make sure to have full information about the plant so that you do not struggle to grow it. 

Apart from the above-explained plants, you can also plant tickseed, hydrangea, pulmonaria, and Viburnum Tinus in your clay soil. So, it is up to you which plant you want to add to your garden. These are the best plants for clay soil.

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