Few evergreen shrubs solve as many problems for woodland home sites surrounded by excessive shade and clay-rich soils. Salal is a Pacific Coast native, growing in the understory of woodlands from California north to Washington and over a larger part of Alaska. It adapts well to the long dry season of California and yet stands just as well in the rain soaked Seattle woods, proving its adaptability.
Large leathery, emerald leaves give a truly lush appearance to these shrubs. They flower in early spring offering lovely clusters of small, urn-shaped white or pale pink flowers typical of the heath family. These yield to purple, pea-sized edible fruits enjoyed by locals and a wide range of wildlife.
The soil conditions of its nativity often consist of heavy clay topped with a layer of leaf litter. These soils force a shallow root system requiring plants to feed off the organic nutrients concentrated where the layers meet. Salal should be grown in partial sun to deep shade, though plants can become rangy in heavier shade and may require a bit of shaping now and then to encourage denser growth.
This is an excellent choice for filling in problem areas beneath large old conifers just as they do beneath the legendary coastal redwood groves. (info source: Learn2Grow.com)
Genus - Gaultheria
Species - Shallon
Common name - Salal / Lemon Leaf
Pre-Treatment - Required
Hardiness zones - 6 - 8
Height - 1'-2' / 0.3m - 0.6m
Spread - 4'-10' / 1.2m - 3.0m
Plant type - Small shrub
Vegetation type - Ornamental deciduous
Exposure - Partial Sun, Partial Shade
Growth rate - Medium
Soil PH - Acidic, Neutral
Soil type - Clay, Loam, Sand
Water requirements - Drought Tolerant, Average Water
Landscape uses - Alpine, Edible, Foundation, Groundcover
Germination rate - 80%
Bloom season - Early Spring, Spring
Leaf / Flower color - Green, Dark Green / White
|Germination||1. Soak seeds 12-24 hours in a warm water. |
2. Cold/moist stratify at least for 30 days in dampened peat or sand, in a plastic box or bag at +4-+5C in a refrigerator. The seeds should not be frozen or in a wet medium.
3. Sow seeds after the pretreatment on the surface of a Well drained seed sowing mix at about 20°C. Keep in bright place.
When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a cold frame until they are at least 15cm tall before planting them into their permanent positions. Grow the plants on for two years in the seedbed and then plant them out into their permanent positions in the winter.