Yes, although it’ll come down to the type of plant as well as how well you tend the soil. Clay soil is very difficult to work with due to the lack of room for air or water movement, but it can be done. By constantly top dressing the soil with organic matter such as compost or leaf mold, it’ll loosen up the compaction a bit.
Some of the plants that do well in clay soil include native praire plants and tap rooted plants. For a complete list of plants recommended for clay soil, see the citation.
Clay soil doesn’t allow for much water or air movement, which makes it very difficult for clay soil to drain properly. For a lot of plants, clay soil would remain too moist and would potentially cause root damamge. However, there are several plant species that do very well in clay soil, including the Japanese iris and the aster. If you want to use clay soil for your garden, mix it with larger pebbles or other pieces of organic matter to break up the soil’s dense composition.
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