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10 Annuals for Clay Soils

Clay soil is much maligned by gardeners and homeowners everywhere, and no wonder: it’s heavy, sticky, and difficult to work in. But the simple fact is that clay soil gets its bad rap because it’s hard on people - from a plant’s point of view, clay soil is usually not problematic at all. In fact, clay soils offer plants two major advantages over other soil types: they hold water well, minimizing drought stress, and are abundant in nutrients essential for plant growth.  So, if you’ve been struggling to achieve your dream garden or landscape in clay soil, cheer up! Here are ten beautiful annuals that will thrive in clay.

 

TOUCAN Coral Canna x generalis

If you love the look of tropical plants but need one that is as easy to grow as a petunia, try our Toucan Cannas. They grow quickly to make bold thrillers in your large containers and thrive in the landscape too. Their more manageable size makes them more proportional and easier to pair with other plants in combination containers. Cannas flower like crazy all summer in warm climates where they love the heat, and are grown more for their bold foliage in northernmost climates where they bloom late in the season. Toucan Coral bears tropical salmon pink flowers that attract pollinators atop its lush green foliage. It appeals to butterflies.

30-48” tall x 18-24” spread. Part sun to sun.

 

 

KARALEE® Petite Pink Improved Gaura
‘DGAUR137’ USPPAF CanPBRAF

You’ll love the vigorous growth of this improved new Gaura. Though it is petite by Gaura standards, it holds its own as a flowering thriller for mixed containers and in landscapes where its plentiful pink blooms will appear all season long. Gaura is heat and drought tolerant and requires little maintenance to thrive all season. It is attractive to butterflies. This variety is perennial in zones 6-11.

14-20” tall x 12-18” spread. Full sun.

 LUSCIOUS® Royale Cosmo Lantana
‘DLANTAN95’ USPPAF CanPBRAF

The first in a new sub-series of smaller lantanas, this restrained selection is a bit more petite but packs the same dynamite bloom power as its big brothers and sisters. It fits easily in containers and window boxes either grow on its own or paired with other sun loving plants. Clusters of fragrant, hot pink and yellow bicolor blooms attract pollinators all season. Like all Luscious lantanas, it produces little to no seed and is heat and drought tolerant, which helps to keep the plants blooming from spring through fall.  Attracts birds, butterflies and bees.

12-26” tall x 12-24” spread. Full sun.

 

SUPERTUNIA® Hot Pink Charm Petunia
‘USTUN2401M’ USPP 29,664 CanPBRAF

The flower power of this new Supertunia Charm Petunia is remarkable, as the plant becomes completely covered in bright pink flowers from spring into fall. No need to remove the spent blooms; these petunias are self-cleaning. Supertunia Charm varieties have a very bushy, mounded shape, so they are perfect for upright containers, hanging baskets and planted in the garden where they make a good substitute for Calibrachoa. They thrive in heat and humidity, so even gardeners in the south can enjoy their spectacular bloom power all season long.

6-12” tall x 18-24” spread. Part sun to sun.

 

SUPERTUNIA® Mulberry Charm Petunia
‘**’ USPPAF CanPBRAF

The flower power of this new Supertunia Charm Petunia is remarkable, as the plant becomes completely covered in lavender pink flowers with a purple eye and veining from spring into fall. No need to remove the spent blooms; these petunias are self-cleaning. Supertunia Charm varieties have a very bushy, mounded shape, so they are perfect for upright containers, hanging baskets and planted in the garden where they make a good substitute for Calibrachoa. They thrive in heat and humidity, so even gardeners in the south can enjoy their spectacular bloom power all season long.

6-12” tall x 18-24” spread. Part sun to sun.

 

SUPERTUNIA® Lovie Dovie Petunia
‘BBTUN91601’ USPP 29,663 CanPBRAF

Patterned petunias are back in style! This adorably ruffled, white petunia is decorated with a magenta pink star pattern on every flower. Don’t let its good looks fool you: this pretty petunia is every bit as durable and floriferous as all of our Supertunia petunias, blooming like crazy from spring through fall without having to remove the spent flowers. Grow it in your hanging baskets, upright containers and window boxes either on its own or paired with your other favorite flowers.

 6-12” tall x 18-24” spread. Part sun to sun.

 

SUPERTUNIA® Royal Magenta Improved Petunia
‘INPETROYMA’ USPP 29,811 CanPBRAF

Improving on one of the longest standing varieties in our lineup wasn’t easy, but we’ve found a look-alike that grows stronger with a nicer shape and greater flower power. Magenta blossoms with a black throat are extremely eye-catching in combination containers paired with other dramatic colors like black and chartreuse. Expect outstanding all-season performance without having to remove the spent flowers, even in hot, humid climates, like all of our Supertunia petunias. Attracts butterflies and hummingbirds.

6-12” tall x 18-24” spread. Part sun to sun.

 

ROCKIN’® PLAYIN’ THE BLUES® Improved Salvia
Balsalmispim’ USPP29,604, CanPBRAF

We’ve taken this popular super-sized salvia and made its awesome flower power even better. Bright violet blue flowers emerge from purple calyxes which hold their color after the flowers are spent, giving the illusion of being in bloom over a longer period. New flower spikes continue to emerge all season long above the bushy, bright green foliage, even in the hot, humid conditions of the deep south. This plant is the perfect thriller for large containers and a fantastic vertical element for landscapes. Pollinators will delight in its flowers from spring through fall. Attracts bees, butterflies and hummingbirds.

2-4’ tall x 2-3’ spread. Part sun to sun.

 

ROCKIN’® Deep Purple Salvia
‘BBSAL09001’ USPPAF CanPBRAF

If you want to see pollinators in your garden, plant a salvia. This new selection is more refined than its predecessors, forming a dense, bushy clump of deep green foliage topped with large, deep purple flowers with black bracts all season. Butterflies, hummingbirds and bees delight in their sweet nectar. Planting this large-sized annual is a quick way to get a lot of color in your landscape in a short amount of time. It works great as a thriller in large container combinations too. Attracts bees, butterflies and hummingbirds.

18-36” tall x 24-30” spread. Part sun to sun.

 

SUPERBENA® Stormburst Verbena
‘RIKA18302M’ USPP 29,640 CanPBRAF

Gardeners love plants with bicolor blossoms, and the soft lavender and white striped flowers of the new Superbena Stormburst are no exception. Like all of our Superbena Verbenas, it produces large clusters of flowers through the heat of summer without going to seed and is exceptionally resistant to powdery mildew. Pair it with your favorite flowers in hanging baskets, upright containers and window boxes and enjoy its pretty blooms from spring through fall.  

6-12” tall x 18-30” spread. Part sun to sun.

Want to learn more about gardening in clay soils? Check out these links:

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