Ocean Front near NC/SC border ... help !!

angela12345(7b NC Mixed-Humid)March 16, 2012

We just built a new house that is oceanfront near the NC - SC border. I need some serious help on suggestions for plants that will survive the relentless sea salt water spray at the coast.

I am very interested in edible landscaping and checked out the edible landscaping forum, but searches yielded little results. Edible is not a must have criteria, however. Just would be a bonus. Also, if you have links or can post pictures in addition to the plant names, that would be awesome !! I am not at all knowledgeable about coastal plants ... we have never had a home in this area before (and really not knowledgeable about plants in general, although I did accidentally plant my first ever garden not long ago).

Almost everything we have planted so far has died. : (

I am on iPad now but will try to come back and post a pic of the house.

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A good bet would be to look for ornamental native plants that naturally grow near the coast. There are actually a lot of species in the southeast that are quite attractive and would fit the bill. Mail Order Natives has a number of salt-tolerant plants you might be interested in:

If you Google "coastal salt tolerant native plants", there are a number of resources that come up, like this: http://www.coastscapes.org/Library/CoastScapesSaltTolerantPlantList%20No%20References.pdf

and this: http://www.scnps.org/PDFs/lowcountry/CoastalNativePlantList.pdf

Thankfully, finding these species has become a lot easier with the advent of internet shopping. In addition, native plants are becoming more popular and easier to find in local nurseries, too. You can also try to find your local native plant society. They may have some good resources that are tailor made for your area.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2012 at 3:37PM
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ashef(coastal NC z8)

I've found that not much of anything edible can grow on the oceanfront without protection from salt spray. Oleander, crepe myrtle & Pittisporum are tough & reliable shrubs that will grow despite salt spray. They prefer to be clumped (for weather protection) rather than spaced out. As for color, I prefer white oleander & white crepe myrtles -- they look cool during our long, hot summers. It would be well worth your time to take a trip to Pender Pines Garden Center in Hampstead; they are a great source of both plants for our coastal area & information.

Welcome to the Cape Fear area, you'll love it!


    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 11:53PM
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Actually, I was researching a similar problem recently.

I'm a bit farther North then you, but I think northern plants survive better in the south then vice versa.

Very Salt Tolerant and Edible:
Beach Plum (very salt tolerant and makes sporadic crops of plums)
Bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi) (edible berries)
Virginia Rose. (Very tough, and rose hips are edible)
Beach Pea (some species, for some values of the word "edible")

Somewhat Salt Tolerant and Edible
Black Chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa)(weedy shrub with edible berries)
red chokeberry (Aronia arbutifolia)
Large Cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon)
Vaccinium angustifolium � common lowbush blueberry
highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum)

Most of these are from my research. I do have experience that Rugosa Rose can thrive in areas that get salt spray, but that is invasive.

While not edible (to humans) I hear Bayberry thrives on salt, and have seen it in spots I know get salt spray. I hear your local variety is Morella caroloniensis.

This link has some ideas...but check to make sure these plants can survive that far south.


    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 3:38PM
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