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Plants and Flowers That Will Grow Under Pine Trees

Category Advice
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.
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By 5 found this helpful
July 20, 2006

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!
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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.

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Good Luck!
Ellen

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Comments

By guest (Guest Post)
July 7, 20060 found this helpful
Top Comment

I too have over 50 pine trees in a group in my back yard. I have let the needles drop for a number of years, as it became to much to rake. I have put big pots of different plants and made a walk through and around. By leaving plants in pots you can control the acid level. Just select plants that prefer shade.

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July 7, 20060 found this helpful
Top Comment

Blueberries are your answer. They thrive in acid soil. And hostas do grow under pines pretty well, but you and the birds will love having the blueberries.
Susan

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By guest (Guest Post)
July 7, 20061 found this helpful
Top Comment

In our acid Ozark soil, wild strawberries grow under cedar and pines. I would think tame berries would do as well. Blueberries love acid soil and so do azaleas. Google search plants for acid soil and see what else comes up. Good luck.

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By guest (Guest Post)
July 23, 20060 found this helpful
Top Comment

I live in Michigan. Mums also grow well under pine trees.

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Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

September 15, 20131 found this helpful

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?

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By Sherrie

Answers

September 17, 20130 found this helpful

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.

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By 0 found this helpful
August 27, 2015

I have an old Singer Featherweight, and it has been a trusty machine. I was sewing with no problems what so ever, but all of a sudden it decided not to sew. The needle remains threaded and enters and exits the material, but no stitch is left behind. Sometimes it will start to stitch, but then nothing, leaving a trail of thread back to the original stitch. I have completely removed the thread from the machine, and rethreaded it multiple times, switched bobbins, but am just stumped.

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Answers

August 28, 20150 found this helpful

If you removed & replaced the needle plate, then when you put it back on you need to make sure the finger around the hook area is placed in the slot under the needle plate or it will not sew properly. Hope that makes sense as that is most often the problem. Its happened to me and it is shown in the manual if you have one. If not then find online.

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September 2, 20150 found this helpful

You might double check the needle. It might be in backwards. This happened to a friend of mine.

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April 24, 20170 found this helpful

Even though you've used it plenty of times, I'm sure, you still might want to go back and make sure you've threaded the tensioner above the needle the right way.
We were having the darnedest time trying to figure out why ours wasn't working right either. Turns out, even though we had done it hundreds of times before, in our haste, we threaded it "out of order". All it took was going back to the old manual to discover our boo-boo.

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September 1, 20130 found this helpful

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

Answers

September 9, 20130 found this helpful

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.

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Anonymous
May 30, 20160 found this helpful

My pine trees are young...not enough room to try to plant anything but if it's any help I have mature cypress trees near the sidewalk side of our home. When we moved in I planted cuttings of hosta and they are doing very well. Not sure if Cypress are acidic like pine however.

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By 0 found this helpful
April 20, 2011

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

Hardiness Zone: 6b

By Anne from Hindman, KY

Answers

April 20, 20110 found this helpful

Thats a good question, I was wondering about that myself, will be watching your feedback. :)

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April 21, 20110 found this helpful

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.

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August 27, 2015

We had a bunch of pine trees cut and the stumps ground up. Now we have a lot of saw dust and shavings on the area where we want to plant some shrubbery. What will grow well in this area?

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