Companion plants for hostas under black walnuts

mosswitchJune 25, 2013

In addendum to the thread about hostas under trees that are bad for them, just thought I would post a partial list of companion plants that can be successfully grown under black walnuts. Includes:

Daffodils, most spring bulbs
Solomon's seal
Hardy Geraniums
Lysmachia (golden moneywort, pennywort)
Hemerocallis (daylilies)
Surprise lilies
Daisy family
Lily of the Valley
Saxifrage (aka strawberry begonia)

All of which grow very well under the dozen or so black walnuts that grow in the woods and gardens here. The worst drawback of gardening under black walnuts is the darn nuts! When they fall, they tear holes in hosta leaves and stain the deck (we have a huge one that towers over the deck and back yard) and the squirrels leave chewed bits everywhere.

Plants that do NOT grow well under them: anything in the tomato/potato family, most vegetables, Madonna lilies.


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So far there aren't any perennials that have died from juglone here, and we grow all of our hostas and shade perennials under and around black walnuts (we have over 60 of them here). I've killed some hydrangeas and a couple Physocarpus though.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2013 at 10:03AM
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weekendweeder(5A NY)

Yes, the black walnut assault has begun in my gardens! So far they are the size of almonds, but over the season they will grow to the size of golf balls and small limes! I have to keep reminding myself that I am thankful for the shade. Nice list!

    Bookmark   June 25, 2013 at 10:28AM
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Some shrubs don't do well with black walnuts, hydrangeas and physocarpus as Chris pointed out; any kind of roses, azaleas, weigelia, spireas, lespedsia, are all things I've tried a time or two and didn't succeed. I tried Madonna lilies three times before I gave up, they just got weaker each year and finally stopped coming up.

But hibiscus, cimicifuga, garlic, thyme, artemesia, lavender, dianthus, passionflower, Dutchman's pipe vine, columbines, ruellia, creeping veronica, lamiums, can all be added to the list of things that will grow under them or within range of their roots.. Most native wildfiowers; trilliums, dog-tooth violets, mayapples, false solomon's seal, woodland phlox, Dutchman's breeches, wild strawberries (but not garden strawberries), ginseng, colt's foot, toothwort, other spring ephemerals, are all good.


This post was edited by mosswitch on Tue, Jun 25, 13 at 10:55

    Bookmark   June 25, 2013 at 10:54AM
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tsugajunkie z5 SE WI

Great lists. I would add...

Sweet Woodruff
Joe Pye Weed
Tsuga canadensis, mertensiana & diversifolia
Chamaecyparis obtusa

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 6:51PM
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