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Stubborn Clay Soil Is No Problem For These 23 Stunning Garden Plants
Black-Eyed Susan
These brown-eyed, bright yellow perennials, not to be confused with black-eyed Susan vines, succeed in moist (not soaking wet) clay soils, and in full to part sun.
This flower attracts pollinators and birds from spring through summer and is hardy in zones 3 to 8. Watch for powdery mildew and rabbits, and don't overdo nitrogen fertilizers.
Smooth Hydrangea
From spring through summer, these flowers love a good pruning, can bloom in compacted clay soils, are deer-resistant, and attract butterflies, songbirds, and moths.
Deadhead the spent blooms and watch for aphids and blight. Adaptive in zones 3 to 9, they prefer partial shade but may accept sunlight for longer in consistently moist soils.
Blazing Star
This flower adds structure to a yard with its slender, rose-purple or white feathery blooms from midsummer to early fall, attracting songbirds, bumble bees, and moths.
It may need staking when in highly fertile, moist soils. Grow it in sunny or mildly shaded sites in zones 3 to 8, but keep it in check, as it self-seeds and grows suckers.
Black Chokeberry
Its violet-black pomes are full of antioxidants, especially if overlaid in compacted poor-draining clay soils, and it feeds and shelters songbirds in late winter.
It boasts pinkish-white flower clusters and glossy red foliage from spring into summer. Plant it at the back in part to full sun. It is winter hardy in USDA growth zones 3 to 8.
Its lavender-black drupes are used in wines or as songbirds' snacks, its fragrant white flowers are brewed for teas, and its foliage makes good nesting for bees.
Plant it in clammy sites in zones 3 to 9, and grow multiple varieties for a spring through summer floral bonanza. The natives grow up to 12 feet tall in full sun to slight shade.