Shrubs for Difficult Sites

When selecting shrubs for the home landscape, gardeners should carefully examine growing conditions at the planting site. Most shrubs prefer well-drained, moist soils. However, there are shrubs that will tolerate more difficult sites. Lists of deciduous shrubs that tolerate wet and dry soils are provided below.

Deciduous Shrubs Tolerant of Dry Soils

  • Japanese Barberry (Berberis thunbergii)
  • Siberian Peashrub (Caragana arborescens)
  • Flowering Quince (Chaenomeles speciosa)
  • Gray Dogwood (Cornus racemosa)
  • American Hazelnut (Corylus americana)
  • Smoketree (Cotinus coggygria)
  • Cranberry Cotoneaster (Cotoneaster apiculatus)
  • Hedge Cotoneaster (Cotoneaster lucidus)
  • Bush Honeysuckle (Diervilla lonicera)
  • Beautybush (Kolkwitzia amabilis)
  • Amur Privet (Ligustrum amurense)
  • Northern Bayberry (Myrica pensylvanica)
  • Eastern Ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius)
  • Potentilla (Potentilla fruticosa)
  • Nanking Cherry (Prunus tomentosa)
  • Fragrant Sumac (Rhus aromatica)
  • Staghorn Sumac (Rhus typhina)
  • Alpine Currant (Ribes alpinum)
  • Bumald Spirea (Spiraea x bumalda)
  • Japanese Spirea (Spiraea japonica)
  • Vanhoutte Spirea (Spiraea x vanhouttei)
  • Indiancurrant Coralberry (Symphoricarpos orbiculatus)

Deciduous Shrubs Tolerant of Wet Soils

  • Red Chokeberry (Aronia arbutifolia)
  • Common Sweetshrub (Calycanthus floridus)
  • Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis)
  • Summersweet Clethra (Clethra alnifolia)
  • Gray Dogwood (Cornus racemosa)
  • Redosier Dogwood (Cornus sericea)
  • Winterberry (Ilex verticillata)
  • Virginia Sweetspire (Itea virginica)
  • Northern Bayberry (Myrica pensylvanica)
  • Goat Willow (Salix caprea)
  • Purpleosier Willow (Salix purpurea)
  • Arrowwood Viburnum (Viburnum dentatum)
  • American Cranberrybush Viburnum (Viburnum trilobum)

This article originally appeared in the 4/9/2004 issue.


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