Living by the coast definitely has its perks. However, many gardeners struggle with coastal gardens – the combination of salty sprays and salt in the soil provides less-than-ideal conditions for many plants. Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean that your garden is destined to be barren – here are five salt-tolerant trees that thrive in coastal gardens.
The Dragon Tree
A popular choice for coastal areas, the Dragon Tree, which comes from the Canary Islands, not only tolerates salt in the soil, along with salt in the air, but it holds up well to strong winds too. Even better, it’s drought-tolerant as well. This is thanks to its extensive and aggressive root system – it delves deep down into the soil to draw up moisture and nutrients, meaning that a dry and hot summer won’t cause this tree to suffer.
The Queensland Bottle Tree
Although not quite as salt-tolerant as the Dragon Tree, the Queensland Bottle Tree still holds up well to moderate amounts of salt in the air and soil. Again, this is another tree that adapts well to drought and heat, making it a must-have in coastal areas. That said, challenging conditions are what have given this tree its reputation of being a slow-grower – regularly water and feed your Queensland Bottle Tree to watch it grow faster than you believed possible.
The Olive Tree
Fruit trees are a must in every garden, but there aren’t many salt-tolerant species out there. This is where the Olive Tree really stands out, as it’s able to quickly adapt to moderately salty environments. In fact, many commercial growers actually water their olive trees with a salty solution. However, keep in mind that studies have found certain varieties to be better than others at coping with salt, so do a little digging into this before making your purchase.
The Golden Barrel Cactus
Cacti are famous for being drought-tolerant, but many don’t realise that some can also be grown in salty environments too. The Golden Barrel Cactus is one of these. It’s able to tolerate quite a heavy amount of salt in the soil, although be prepared for this to affect its vigour. Since this is a relatively low-growing plant, it’s a great one for exposed gardens – its rounded shape also means that heavy winds won’t batter it quite as much as they would a taller tree.
The Yucca Filifera
While some yuccas will struggle in salty soils, the Yucca Filifera is much more adaptable. It doesn’t mind salt in the air or in its soil, and can cope with drought, heat, and frost as well. What makes this tree even more appealing is the fact that it’s one of the fastest-growing yuccas out there, making it ideal for those who want instant drama in their garden.
While it’s true that many plants simply won’t do well in coastal areas, there are still plenty of others to choose from. Whether you’re looking for something majestic and architectural to become your garden’s new focal point, or for a little colour to add into a dull corner, you’ll find plenty of options at our nursery. Feel free to get in touch if you would like more advice on picking the right plants for your coastal garden.