Isn’t it a dream where, when you open your eyes you see blue ocean, a pleasant breeze and a cup of coffee in your hand while on your beach balcony? While living on the Outer Banks is indeed a dream, in reality it brings a lot of complexities. Like, your food items will go stale due to moisture or it might be a nightmare for people who want to have a beautiful lush landscape around. There are quite a few things you need to take note of while living near the water if you want to achieve great plant growth.
Salt Water Effects On Plants
Salt in the water prevents a normal growth for plants. Though, salt retains water, absorbs it and thus, roots will not receive any water. The salty spray landing directly on the plant itself worsens the problem. That, coupled with the sandy soils found around your new home on the Outer Banks that are nutrient-poor, and the high winds in the winter and you have a recipe for a stressed plant that can’t get enough water or nutrients.
1. Wilted leaves
2. Reduced growth of plants
3. Yellow leaves due to lack of nutrient
4. Ultimate death of plant from lack of moisture
Here are several options to have a beautiful landscape in your own garden:
1. Establish wind breaks
Salt tolerant shrubs can be used to act as a shield for windbreaks. You can also provide shelter for vulnerable plants by building a small framework of ply and burlap. This will winter withering by winds.
Grow small trees and shrubs close by. This will make them strong to withstand bad weather.
3. Create a soil environment to retain moisture
Make sure you mulch properly and even hose down plants after storms and high winds (rinsing tender buds in spring also helps).
4. Find Salt-Tolerant Plants
There are many options for seaside landscaping – ranging grasses to shrubs and trees. You can go for annuals which are a good alternative if you want color in your garden and can’t maintain traditional flowering perennials. Alternatively, take your notes to a local grower who understands the conditions of the area, and with the information you provide about the conditions of a particular site, the grower will be able to suggest plants that may work.
Following is list of some salt tolerant plants and trees:
- Ivy geraniums (Pelargonium peltatum): commonly used in hanging baskets.
- Portulaca: Drought-tolerant annual.
- Lantana Plant: Treated as an annual in cooler climes, lantanas are perennials in Florida.
- Coleus blumei: Traditionally used as an annual to provide foliage in the landscape.
- Kalanchoe: Perennial in Florida.
- Daylilies (Hemerocallis spp.): Moderately salt-tolerant plants.
- Prickly pear cactus (Opuntia spp.): Can take a pounding in the sun
- Bayberry shrubs: Famous for candles made from berries
- Flowering jasmine
- Rosa rugosa
- Date palm tree
- Maple tree
- Saw Palmetto
- Red Cedar
You can always take reference from neighbors flourishing gardens. And your Outer Banks Master Builders can provide great assistance, too. Not only are beach gardens great for your home, they provide excellent curb appeal for your Outer Banks commercial property.
This article was a guest contribution by Yogesh Mankani who is a recently married person who owns a house that includes eco-friendly products, energy saving led tubes and solar panels. Professionally, he is a blogger from France who loves to write about technology, green living and cars.