How To Grow Salal Successfully

Written by: Lars Nyman

Growing Salal

Growing Salal

Growing the Salal plant is a fun and rewarding experience. It is a beautiful evergreen shrub that bears small shiny blue-black berries with a sweet taste. Salal can be used for jams, jellies, pies, and sauces, or eaten fresh. It is used as a decorative shrub due to its lush foliage and is a great addition to any garden. With regular watering and support, Salal is a low maintenance plant that can be grown with great success in just about any location!

Cheatsheet: Growing Salal Successfully

Choose the Right Location

๐ŸŒž Grow Salal in partial shade or full sun.

๐ŸŒ Plant in acidic soil with good drainage.


๐ŸŒฑ Start with young salal plants or propagate using cuttings.

๐Ÿ’ฆ Water regularly, ensuring soil is consistently moist.


๐ŸŒฟ Mulch around plants to retain moisture and control weeds.

๐Ÿ‚ Prune to maintain desired shape and remove deadwood.


๐ŸŒฟ Apply a balanced organic fertilizer in spring.

๐Ÿ” Top-dress with compost for added nutrients.

Pest and Disease Control

๐Ÿœ Monitor for aphids and treat with organic insecticide if needed.

๐Ÿ˜ท Protect against fungal leaf spot with proper spacing and good airflow.


๐ŸŒฟ Harvest young leaves and stems as needed.

๐Ÿ’ฐ Sell bundles of salal greenery for floral arrangements!

When it comes to growing salal successfully, there are a few key things to keep in mind. This plant, native to the Pacific Northwest, is known for its glossy evergreen leaves and attractive berries. Here are my top tips for cultivating salal in your own garden:

1. Choose the Right Location

Salal thrives in partially shaded areas with well-draining soil. It's important to find a spot that provides some protection from the intense afternoon sun, especially in hotter climates. I've found that planting salal under the canopy of taller trees or near a north-facing wall works well.

2. Prepare the Soil

Before planting salal, it's crucial to prepare the soil properly. Salal prefers acidic soil with a pH between 4.5 and 6.0. If your soil is too alkaline, you can lower the pH by adding organic matter, such as pine needles or compost. Additionally, ensure the soil is well-draining by amending it with sand or perlite.

3. Planting Salal

When planting salal, dig a hole that is slightly wider and deeper than the root ball. Place the plant in the hole, ensuring that the top of the root ball is level with the soil surface. Backfill the hole with the amended soil and gently firm it around the plant. Water thoroughly after planting to remove air pockets.

4. Watering and Mulching

Salal prefers consistently moist soil, especially during the summer months. Regular watering, especially in times of drought, is essential. Apply a layer of organic mulch around the base of the plant to help retain moisture and suppress weeds. Avoid mulching directly against the stem to prevent rot.

5. Pruning

Pruning salal is not necessary for its overall health, but it can help shape the plant and encourage bushier growth. I recommend pruning after the plant has finished flowering, typically in late spring or early summer. Remove any dead or damaged branches, and trim back any wayward growth to maintain a tidy appearance.

"Did you know that salal is an important food source for numerous birds and mammals, including bears and deer?"

6. Fertilizing

Salal generally does not require much fertilization, as it can obtain most of the nutrients it needs from the soil. However, if your plant is showing signs of nutrient deficiency, you can apply a slow-release, balanced fertilizer in early spring. Be sure to follow the packaging instructions to avoid over-fertilizing, which can harm the plant.

7. Dealing with Pests and Diseases

Salal is relatively resistant to pests and diseases. However, occasionally, aphids or scale insects may become a problem. You can control these pests by spraying the plant with a solution of soapy water or using a horticultural oil. Be sure to follow the instructions on the product you choose.

With these tips in mind, you should be well on your way to successfully growing salal in your garden. This beautiful plant not only adds aesthetic appeal with its glossy foliage and berries but also provides valuable food for wildlife. Happy gardening!

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How should I care for my salal plants?

Provide well-draining soil, partial shade, and regular watering.

2. When is the best time to plant salal?

Plant salal in the spring or fall for optimal growth and establishment.

3. How often should I water my salal plants?

Water regularly, keeping the soil moist but not waterlogged.

4. Can salal tolerate drought conditions?

Salal is drought-tolerant but prefers consistent moisture for best growth.

5. How do I prune my salal plants?

Prune salal in early spring to remove dead or damaged branches, if necessary.

6. Do salal plants require any fertilizer?

Salal plants are generally low-maintenance and don't require fertilization. However, you can apply a balanced organic fertilizer in the spring if desired.

7. Are there any pests or diseases that affect salal plants?

Salal plants are generally resilient and not prone to major pest or disease issues.

Growing Salal is a wonderful way to make use of the environment and create your own home-grown plant. This evergreen shrub has hardy dark green leaves that can stand up to most climates, so itโ€™s a great choice for both novice and experienced gardeners. Salal can also bring life to any outdoor spaceโ€”helping to create an oasis of calmโ€”and can attract beneficial wildlife such as birds, bees and butterflies. Plus, Salal berries can be used in a variety of delicious recipes. so why wait? get started on growing your very own salal today!

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