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Plants and Flowers That Will Grow Under Pine Trees

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pine trees

When looking for plants to grow under pine trees there are several considerations to keep in mind. This is a guide about plants and flowers that will grow under pine trees.

Solutions: Plants and Flowers That Will Grow Under Pine Trees

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Tip: Flowers That Will Grow Under Pine Trees

Question:

I need advice about what type of plants/flowers, preferably perennials, could be planted under pine trees. I've been told that the dropping pine needles kill most plants because they give off kerosene. The area in question is very shady. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks!

Hardiness Zone: 6a

Teri Hayes from Klamath Falls, OR

Answer:

Terri,

Planting under pines can be difficult for a few reasons. The biggest reason is that that the soil under them is made acidic from dropping pine needles. Large tree roots also tend to suck up all of the water and nutrients in the area and the site tends to be dry. To grow successfully, plants need to prefer acidic soil and be able to thrive in a shady site.

Here are a few good candidates (annuals and perennials): Impatiens, wallerana, trillium, lungwort, hellebores, Virginia bluebells, rhododendron, azalea, hydrangea, cardinal flower, hosta, Jacob's ladder, Canadian ginger, saxifraga, heuchera, hepatica, ferns, barren strawberry, big-root geranium, lily-of-the-valley, bishop's hat, dead nettle and sweet woodruff. Look for shade-loving plants that prefer acidic soil. You might also consider pot-scaping with container plants or creating raised beds around the trees to avoid having to disturb any tree roots. Incidentally, you've been misinformed. Pine needles do not give off kerosene.

Good Luck!
Ellen

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Questions

Here are questions related to Plants and Flowers That Will Grow Under Pine Trees.

Question: Growing Flowers Under Pine Trees

If I remove the pine needles from my raised flower garden, will the flowers be alright with just a few needles here and there? I've been reading the articles about flowers and shrubs that are compatible with living under pine trees. My friend and my husband both said the needles are acidic and shouldn't be left in the garden. If I keep them cleared out of the garden in the fall when they begin to drop, will that help keep the soil from being too acidic?

By Sherrie


Most Recent Answer

By likekinds09/17/2013

University of Wisconsin-Extension, Cooperative Extension: Pine Needles Cause Acid Soil  Fact or Fiction

Believe it or not, this is fiction, a myth. Pine needles do not make the soil more acidic. This bit of garden lore is so common that almost everyone believes it, including many professionals.

Sherrie,
If you still have concerns, you can but a kit to test your soil's ph for 3 or 4 dollars.

Question: Plants for Growing Under Pine Trees

Row of pine trees.I live in mid-Michigan; what are the best flowers and plants to grow under my pine trees? They get morning sun from the east, the branches are trimmed up high!

By Laurie Y. from Millington, MI


Most Recent Answer

By Kim L.09/09/2013

I use to live in Michigan and had many pine trees. I tried a variety of plants with no luck. Seemed they never got enough water, even though I would water them daily. I was told that the ground beneath was too acid to grow anything. I also tried native ferns, but again they seemed to wilt and die quite fast. However, what I did find, was that I had a huge crop of Moral Mushrooms yearly under and around the pine trees ! So you might want to wait till next Mayish and check to see if you have any of the delicacies under your trees.

Question: What Will Grow Under Pine Trees?

What can be grown under pine trees? Any herbs, etc.?

Hardiness Zone: 6b

By Anne from Hindman, KY


Most Recent Answer

By Sally04/21/2011

Plants that like an acidic soil, and partial shade. If you scroll down the page, there is a good article by Ellen Brown, and comments by others that can will help you make a decision.