Top Plants for Seaside Gardens, Coastal Plants & Salty Soil
Seaside gardening can be challenging -- your coastal plants have to be able to stand up to strong winds as well as salty soil and spray. And that's asking for a lot, so we've picked a handful of the toughest coastal plants we know of.
Because these plants for salty soil a're so dependable, they are good choices for any yard, whether your view is to a seaside garden, prairie, or mountaintop.
South American Verbena
Create a cottage-garden feel with this whimsical plant that's well suited for seaside gardens. South American verbena displays clusters of lavender-purple flowers all summer long on stems up to 6 feet tall. The flowers—which are a good coastal plant—attract a range of butterflies and are wonderful in cut-flower arrangements.
Name: Verbena bonariensis
Zones: 7-11, though it's typically grown as a self-seeding annual
Daylilies seem to thrive anywhere you plant them -- so it should be no surprise they'll also do well in seaside gardens. They bear grassy foliage and flowers in a wide range of shades, from bright reds and deep purples to golden-yellows, eye-catching oranges, and creamy white.
Name: Hemerocallis selections
Video: Grow Daylilies
Watch this quick video to learn more about growing beautiful easy-care daylilies, even when you tend them as a coastal plant.
Native to areas of North America, this ornamental grass thrives just about anywhere you plant it (even in shade) so it works well as a coastal plant. Sea oats bears unique plumes that seem to dance in the breeze and attractive bronze foliage in fall; try them along with these other suggestions for plants for salty soil.
Test Garden Tip: Sea oats can be an aggressive spreader in the garden.
Name: Chasmanthium latifolium
Add drama to your seaside gardens with red-hot poker. This stately perennial offers strappy leaves, topped by spikes of red, orange, and yellow flowers. Even as a good plant for salty soil, it's also a wonderfully heat- and drought-resistant grower that's also a favorite of hummingbirds.
Name: Kniphofia selections
Grow bold gaillardia for its long bloom season in seaside gardens; it flowers nonstop from summer to frost. It's also wonderfully drought-resistant, so it thrives in the sandy soil often found in the salty soil around lakes and oceans. Want more reasons to love it? Gaillardia is great for cutting and attracts scores of butterflies.
Name: Gaillardia selections
Easy-growing yarrow is perfect coastal plant for any sunny garden -- it's virtually pest-free, is a wonderful cut flower, and holds up to cold, drought, and windy conditions. Look for selections with blooms in shades of rich yellow, terra-cotta orange, deep red, bright pink, and pure white.
Name: Achillea selections
Lantana, a good plant for salty soil, is a near guarantee that you'll see butterflies in your garden. You're also sure to enjoy this coastal plant's easy-care nature -- its bright color and ability to take care of itself make lantana the perfect plant to grow along the beach in seaside gardens.
Name: Lantana selections
Zones: 10-11, but usually grown as an annual
Gardeners cherish gazanias in coastal gardens as much for their cheery, daisy-shape blooms in glowing shades of yellow, orange, red, pink, and white as for their tough nature. In warm-climate areas, these plants for salty soil are evergreen perennials, but they also make fantastic additions to container gardens.
Name: Gazania selections
Zones: 8-10, but usually grown as an annual.
You'd expect a plant native to Siberia to be tough -- and this rose doesn't disappoint in seaside gardens! Rosa rugosa stands up to heat and cold, drought, wind, and salt spray with ease. This coastal plant bears fragrant flowers off and on from spring to fall; the flowers become pumpkin-orange rose hips that birds love.
Name: Rosa rugosa
Double your pleasure by planting lavender in front of roses in seaside gardens. Both of these coastal plant beauties will fill your garden with scent -- and the lavender will camouflage the bare rose stems. Lavender is an easy-care sandy soil plantthat's perfect to grow along the beach.
Name: Lavandula angustifolia
Though they look delicate, hydrangeas are a good plant for sandy soil and hold up well to wind too -- so they're a beautiful addition to partly shaded sections of seaside gardens.
Test Garden Tip: Hydrangeas don't deal well with drought. Be sure to keep them well watered.
Name: Hydrangea selections
Enjoy color and texture all year in seaside gardens with evergreen junipers. Happily, there's a wide range of these easy-growing coastal shrubs -- look for varieties with blue, green, or gold foliage, as well as low, creeping types; medium-size selections; and tall, narrow picks perfect for privacy.
Name: Juniperus selections
Another great evergreen for creating winter interest in seaside gardens, wintercreeper is a lovely groundcover that you can also train to grow as a vine. Most varieties, which work well in salty soils, feature dark green foliage variegated with white, cream, or gold.
Name: Euonumus fortunei
Drought-tolerant and tough-as-nails, portulaca (often called moss rose) is a perfect plant for salty soil. It bears beautiful flowers on a low, creeping plant perfect for the front of the border or in window boxes, hanging baskets, and other containers in seaside gardens. It blooms in a range of shades from white and magenta to yellow, orange, and red.
Test Garden Tip: Though portulaca is an annual, it commonly self-seeds in the garden so you may need to plant it only once.
Name: Portulaca selections
Geraniums will thrive in any sunny spot, making them ideal as a coastal plant for seaside gardens. Look for varieties with bright red blooms to catch the eye, or go with soft pinks or whites for a more soothing presentation.
Name: Pelargonium selections
Zones: 10-11, but usually grown as an annual
Cuphea is relatively new to gardeners, so it's not gotten the amount of attention it deserves, especially as a coastal plant. But this little annual blooms its head off, producing bright red, pink, or orange flowers, even in the hottest weather or in salty soil. It also holds up well to drying winds.
Name: Cuphea selections
Lovely little sea pink is an adorable groundcover with grassy foliage and round clusters of pink or white flowers in late spring and early summer, adding charm to seaside gardens. It's a slow spreader, so you don't have to worry about it running rampant as a plant in sandy soil.
Name: Armeria selections