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How to Grow and Care for Salal Plants

Gaultheria shallon

This plant requires or will tolerate shade during the heat of the dayThis plant may not tolerate any direct sunlightOnce established this plant requires little or no supplemental wateringThis plant will tolerate some drought, but benefits from periodic wateringThis plant needs a thorough, deep weekly watering, Double icons require boggy or wet conditionsHummingbird PlantBird Plant or FlowerNo DeerWhite flowering plantPink flowering plantA photograph is availableHow to Use the Plant Care Icons at The Garden Helper


Salal are low growing (2-8 ft.) evergreen shrubs with thick, leathery, dark green foliage that is often used for flower arrangements. Spikes of pretty, bell-shaped flowers are produced on reddish, 6" stalks in the spring and form dark purple berries for the birds to eat in the fall and winter months.
Salal berries are edible and are often used to make jellies.
Salal Plants are native to most of the west coast, from southern California to British Columbia.
They are excellent plants for woodland settings, as companion plants for Rhododendrons, Azaleas and hardy Ferns.

Growing Requirements for Salal

Salal (Gaultheria shallon) is hardy in USDA zones 5-9.
It prefers to be grown in partial shade and planted in a rich, well draining, acidic soil.
Water regularly and thoroughly during the dry months.
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Normally, the only pruning that Salal needs is to remove dead wood or to cut back an overgrown plant in the spring.
Apply a mulch of compost or peat moss each spring to help preserve moisture.

This deer resistant, drought tolerant shrub is actually capable of growing in full sun and poor, dry soil, but they will seldom grow more than 1-2 ft. tall or wide if they are grown under these conditions. New foliage may also burn in full sun.

Propagating Salal Plants

Gaultheria seeds should be sown in the fall, directly in the garden where they are to grow.

Softwood cuttings from Salal plants can be struck in mid summer.

Sucker growth can be removed from the main plant and replanted in the spring or fall months.
Salal
Gaultheria shallon
A Salal Plant Flowering in the Garden, Gaultheria shallon