Design or redesign a landscape

Choose salt-tolerant plants

Photo: Row of junipers and lawn at park

If a landscape is irrigated with saline water, it’s best to include salt-tolerant species, such as Juniperus virginiana ‘Skyrocket’ (skyrocket juniper).

Quite a few species of plants can withstand small or moderate concentrations of salt in soil or water. Such salt-tolerant plants may be useful, or even essential, for landscapes irrigated with recycled water or slated for a switch to recycled water. That's because recycled water sometimes is a bit higher in salt than drinking water or other sources used for irrigation.

A number of situations may cause you to need to choose salt-tolerant plants. Two examples are as follows:

  • Scenario #1: The irrigation system for a park will be retrofitted to use recycled water. You've been asked to evaluate the plants growing within the park to determine whether they will survive the change to recycled water. After reviewing relevant salt-tolerance data, you conclude at least some of the plants must be replaced with species of higher tolerance.
  • Scenario #2: You've been asked to help select species of plants for a newly-designed or redesigned landscape. You find you need to consider salt tolerant plants because the site's soil and water are relatively high in salt.

In these and other such scenarios, salt tolerance will be one of several criteria you will need to consider.

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