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Herbaceous flowering plants for compacted and waterlogged heavy clay soil

Below is a listing of clay tolerant herbaceous flowering plants that will die back to ground level in winter. Clay soils often suffer from winter flooding and water logging followed by cracking of soil during dry summer months and this is a tough environment for plants.

As with all other herbaceous plants you will need to give plants a good start on planting by conditioning the planting pit with compost and grit to improve the immediate root zone of establishing plants. Also annual mulching around plants with well rotted compost will improve soil fertility as well as lock in soil moisture. Mulching is useful on clay soils as the organic matter will help remedy clay compaction, aiding free draining and root penetration.

Many of these plants will also require lifting and dividing to encourage rejuvenated growth and flowering as well as stacking to stop taller plants from collapsing.

Click on the plant or genus name to view information, cultivation tips and pictures.


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Latin &
Common Name
EarmarkType & FormFlowers & Foliage
Alchemilla mollis - Ladies mantle, AlcemillaAlchemilla mollis

Ladies mantle, Alcemilla
Herbaceous Flowers, Ground cover, Container-friendly, Rounded - ClumpLime green flowers (Summer early)
Euphorbia amygdaloides - Robbiae - Wood SpurgeEuphorbia amygdaloides

'Robbiae'

Wood Spurge
Herbaceous Flowers, Ground cover, Container-friendly, SpreadingGreen flowers (Spring)
Hedera algeriensis - Gloire de Marengo - IvyHedera algeriensis

'Gloire de Marengo'

Ivy
Climber, Ground cover, Spreading archingNon-flowering
Iris sibirica - Siberian IrisIris sibirica

Siberian Iris
Herbaceous Flowers, SpikeyDark blue flowers (Summer)
Acanthus spinosus - Bears BritchesAcanthus spinosus

Bear's Britches
Herbaceous Flowers, Ground cover, Rounded - ClumpPurple flowers (Summer)
Doronicum orientale - Leopards BaneDoronicum orientale

Leopard's Bane
Herbaceous Flowers, Container-friendly, Rounded - ClumpYellow flowers (Spring)
Heuchera - Chocolate RufflesHeuchera

'Chocolate Ruffles'
Herbaceous Flowers, Ground cover, Container-friendly, Rounded - ClumpWhite flowers (Summer)
Primula prolifera - candelabra primulaPrimula prolifera

candelabra primula
Herbaceous Flowers, SpikeyLight pink flowers (Spring, scented)
Rodgersia podophylla - RodgersiaRodgersia podophylla

Rodgersia
Herbaceous Flowers, Rounded - ClumpWhite flowers (Summer)
Rheum - Ace of Hearts - RheumRheum

'Ace of Hearts'

Rheum
Herbaceous Flowers, Spreading clumpRed flowers (Summer)


You can use our plant-finder to find plants that match your garden conditions exactly, for example Herbaceous flowering plants for compacted and waterlogged heavy clay soil - click to give it a try!

Have you seen our other plant top ten recommendations?