need ideas for under birch trees

kclynn(z5 KS/MO)April 11, 2002

I crossposted this under trees also but I thought the companion planting forum would be a good place also.

I am needing suggestions. My husband dug out the sod around two clump birch. I was going to add some good topsoil then plant all annuals ie... geranium, petunia, vinca, anyway mostly a mass planting of color.

When at the garden store the lady there who really did seem to be very knowledgable told me I would have trouble getting anything to grow there because of the surface roots of the birch trees. She said maybe a very hardy daylily. There is only the lightest of shade from the the trees as they aren't big enough for much shade.

Although not the look I was going for daylilys may be just fine. I am flexable and would appreciate any other suggestions or comments.


Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
rhoda_dendron(z6 Toronto Cana)

I like the idea of daylillies. For extra colour, try
spacing them a little farther apart and planting tulip
or daffodil bulbs inbetweeen. This will give you two
seasons of colour, and tulips are a classic combination
with the white bark of the birch.

Personally, I haven't had any trouble growing whatever I
like under birches. I have daylillies, ornamental grasses,
hollies, ferns, lily of the valley, irises (under a small
birch - bearded iris) burning bush, and japanese yew.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2002 at 2:14PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
kclynn(z5 KS/MO)

Thanks Rhoda,

I like daylilies, too. I think I will just go with my original thoughts and see what happens.


    Bookmark   April 21, 2002 at 7:08PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
alanrocks(z6 KY)

I have Camassia, Grape Hyacinth, Fritillaria for early color, then petunias and ageratum "Hawaii Blue" for summer color. No real problems. My tree has been in the ground for 2 years.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2002 at 10:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
pansyjoe(z4 WI)

I have a clump birch in my front yard. I have a rather long bed under it edged in field stone and red wood mulch. I have it planted with hosta and rubeckia, a burning bush shrub. I also have my kids little red wagon turned into a planter with red celosia and yellow strawflowers. An old tin pail planted with red and white impatients. And in the back ground sits an old hand cultivater. Very colorful. I tried to put a picture in but didn't know how. Good Luck.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2002 at 8:42PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The difficulty develops as the birches grow larger. Soil, climate and exposure will also play a role in how dry it becomes under the trees.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2002 at 2:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
kclynn(z5 KS/MO)

Thanks for all the great ideas. I think I will go with all annuals and try a variety to see what does well. Looks like there is a bit more shade there now that the trees have leafed out. I wonder how impatiens would do? Early morning and late afternoon sun.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2002 at 2:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I planted a birch in the middle of my garden about five years ago. It's coming down this year because the roots are interfering with the rest of my garden. I've got raised beds surrounding the tree and the roots are starting to lift the boxes. The first couple of years I had all sorts of things planted around it. As the sun moved, the shade changed so that really wasn't a problem. The real problem was the type of birch I'd planted. My husband had gotten it from his brother's property in New Hampshire. These aren't your basic white birch that look good in clusters. This baby was going to be one of those stately 40 footers that grow in New England forests. The last year or two I put some bricks between the roots to balance pots of different varieties of anything I felt would add color to that part of the garden. It really was lovely. But I'm starting to trip on the roots and they're getting into my boxed beds, so down it will come. I like the idea of day lillies. Try some clumps of Stella d'Oro. It seems to bloom all summer. And the folliage should be a nice contrast against the white bark.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2002 at 2:41AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have a burgundy-leafed birch that has a huge clump of peach-colored daylilies under it. I also have burgundy ornamental grass on the three corners of this bed. Burgundy-veined ajuga runs amok in and around the whole bed. It never has to be weeded and everyone seems very content. The burgundy and peach play beautifully off each other.
Happy Gardening,

    Bookmark   August 9, 2002 at 9:50PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hello everybody,I'm new here and know seriously close to nothing about gardening.We have nine most beautifull birch trees hemming our driveway and i noticed that the circles under the trees are gradualy overgrowing with grass.Should I weed it or put mulch there? And could I use pine needles? But you guys are talking about growing flowers there.I am confused.Help!!!!

    Bookmark   September 1, 2004 at 1:19AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

hey, KCLynn,

I have a birch tree too, right outside my livingroom windoe. I have all kinds of flowers under it. I have volunteer cosmos, and cleome, which grew especially tall this year, so I will save seed and weed them out next June. I also have brown eyed susan, purple coneflowers, Canadian goldenrod, and assorted other wildflowers. I planted daffodils, which were gorgeous in spring.

Let me know what you decided to plant, and tell whether it was successful.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2005 at 4:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Dieter2NC(z7b NC)

I did the daylillies w/daffs, glads, dahlias, shasta daisies, threadleaf coreopsis, peonies and oriental lillies under my 'Dura-heat' river birches. I planted them all when the trees where put in. I have to rotate years for dividing things so as not to disturb too much of the trees roots at any time. it can be trying working around the roots but a spading fork helps.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2005 at 7:18PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
myrtle pot
Hello Everyone I've been quite a while trying to grow...
Butterfly gardening
Hi I'm new to butterfly gardening and we cant use pesticides...
Where to plant oregano???
Hola everybody, I'm growing a lot of herbs and vegetables...
What plant is this?
Goodafternoon I will appreciate very much if someone...
If nasturtiums keep bugs away what's eating mine?
I have nasturtium seedlings that are being eaten by...
Sponsored Products
White Battery-Operated Paper Lanterns, Set of 4
Cost Plus World Market
Elizabeth Gold Six-Light 26-Inch Chandelier with Royal Cut Clear Crystal
Carpyen | Boop! Wall/Ceiling Light
$536.80 | YLighting
Besa 1SW-1779CF-SN Copper Foil Mia Wall Light - 1SW-1779CF-SN
$180.00 | Hayneedle
Shaker Slope Chair in Pink
| Dot & Bo
Alexandria Chrome Twelve-Light 28-Inch Chandelier with Royal Cut Clear Crystal
All-weather Number Art #2
Grandin Road
Nourison Regal REG05 Area Rug - 5501
$795.00 | Hayneedle
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™