How to Grow and Care for Salal Plants
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.
Normally, the only pruning that Salal needs is to remove dead wood or to cut back an overgrown plant in the spring.
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.
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.
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