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Salt Tolerant Perennials

The cold, snowy and icy winters of the Midwest require the use (some would say ‘overuse’) of salt to clear roads and sidewalks. Salts accumulate over time in the soil along roads, sidewalks and driveways. It is washed away very slowly by warm weather rains and artificial watering.

The result is an accumulation of sodium in the soil. Plants subjected to these salty situations may not be able to take up water and may be damaged or even die, because of a sodium induced ‘drought’.

There are a few things that can be done to limit the damage. Try wrapping plants in burlap, constructing screens of burlap or plastic, avoid sodium near salt sensitive plants, and avoid shoveling salt laden snow onto adjacent plantings. Or replace salt sensitive plants with salt tolerant ones. Often the most salt tolerant plants are also those which also tolerant drought, which makes sense. Below is a list of perennials which are reputed to be salt tolerant. They will have the salt tolerant icon on the label

PERENNIALS

ACHILLEA millefolium cultivars
ALLIUM species and hybrids
ARMERIA maritime cultivars
ARTEMISIA species & cultivars
ASTER novae-angliae cultivars
BERGENIA cordifolia cultivars
CATANANCHE caerulea
CENTRANTHUS ruber
DIANTHUS deltoides cultivars
DIANTHUS grtnpltns cultivars
DIANTHUS plumarius cultivars
DIANTHUS x Star Series
DIANTHUS x allwoodii
ECHINOPS species
ERYNGIUM species
EUONYMUS fortunei cultivars
EUPHORBIA polychroma cultivars

GONIOLIMON tataricum
GYPSOPHILA paniculata cultivars
GYPSOPHILA repens cultivars
HEDERA helix cultivars
HEMEROCALLIS hybrids
HEUCHERA species & hybrids
HOSTA species & hybrids
IBERIS sempervirens
IRIS Germanica cultivars
IRIS sibirica cultivars
LIMONIUM latifolium
LIRIOPE spicata
NEPETA x faassenii cultivars
OENOTHERA species
PARTHENOCISSUS quinquefolia
PARTHENOCISSUS tricuspidata
PENSTEMON species & cultivars
PEROVSKIA cultivars

PHYSOSTEGIA virginiana cultivars
SAPONARIA ocymoides
SEDUM species & hybrids
SEMPERVIVUM species & cultivars
SIDALCEA malviflora Rosanna
THYMUS species, cultivars & hybrid
VERONICA incana
WALDSTEINIA ternata

GRASSES

CALAMAGROSTIS acutiflora
FESTUCA glauca cultivars
HELICTOTRICHON sempervirens
PANICUM virgatum cultivars
PENNISETUM alopecuroides
SCHIZACHYRIUM scoparium