What can I plant at the base of a pine tree?

gofish214(z6 Philly)April 9, 2004

I just bought my first house, which came with a gigantic pine tree in part of the yard. Right now it looks pretty ugly -- it's mostly just bare dirt and a layer of pine needles and branches. I did see some Vinca starting to grow.

I'd like to get it all cleaned up and plant something under the pine tree, something pretty that will lighten up the shade. Any ideas on what can be planted in a shady area under a pine tree?


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motria(z6 Chicago)

Don't know what your soil type or moisture level is, but you'd probably want to look into "woodland" type flowers. If you're into native plants, then consider columbine, wild geranium, jacob's ladder, or foamflower. Maybe a chartreuse hosta and some impatiens would brighten the area, too.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2004 at 8:21PM
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the only thing I've ever seen to take the acidic soil and ultra-shady conditions under a pine are lily of the valley- and the pips aren't cheap, if you're buying them retail...

but they're a no-brainer to pull out of an existing clump, if you know someone who has them...

I laid some extra soil over the 'scratch between the roots' prep work I did, layed the runners out, spread dirt over them, mulched over the dirt, and kept them watered for the first month- it seems to have worked out ok.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2004 at 3:00PM
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Don't know how some of these grow in your area, but they do great in mine.

Rhody's, azaleas, hosta, skimmia's, many groundcovers, hydrangeas, foxgloves, woodland plants, and all listed above as well. I suppose a lot of what you want depends on how low the branches are.

Just remember if the tree is good sized your plants may require more water.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2004 at 11:40PM
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bonediggers(8b, Gladewater)

Well, other than the obvious (more pine trees), here in East Texas, the best thing that grows under pine trees, which we have an overabundance of, is poison ivy.

In all seriousness, if I were going to plant under a pine tree, I'd put some kind of border around (wood, stone, plastic, whatever) so I could make it into a raised bed and I'd add plenty of topsoil, mulch, planting soil. Anything that would get the acidity away from what I was going to plant.


    Bookmark   April 19, 2004 at 8:45AM
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Blueberry bushes. I have read on bush labels and in books that blueberry bushes love the acidic soil and shade. The green foilage is supposed to be attractive. Plant two different types for better pollenation.

I have 2 bushes to plant in my pine forest now.

I have also found a lot of incarnata passion flowers in my pine forest.

good luck

    Bookmark   April 30, 2004 at 8:44PM
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giboosi_alttara(z6 CT)

A raised bed under the pine is likely to kill the tree eventually.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2004 at 9:22PM
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kymmieann(z6 NJ)

if you are looking for a pretty annual for under the pine tree I say impatients. Thats what Im gonna do this year with my pine.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2004 at 7:52PM
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I have lily of the valley, hostas, daffs, wild violets, hellebores, and star of bethlehem bulbs. For annuals I waxy begonias, and lobelia planted.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2004 at 10:59PM
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    Bookmark   May 12, 2004 at 1:01AM
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I have planted under mine, rhododendron, orchid frost lamium, hosta, and a spreading ivy. I also let some of my house plants sit there in the summer.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2004 at 9:55AM
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happyplanter(z5 MI)

under my huge pine tree, ditch daylilies, sedum, hosta, purple coneflower, stella d'oro, iris....nearby, hollyhock, turtlehead, campanula, foxglove, dianthus, daisies.

if you are willing to mulch or add a litte improvement to the soil then just about anything that will take some shade/dry will do fine.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2004 at 8:22PM
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