Planting under trees

deb0615(7)March 27, 2006

I want to plant hostas and azeleas under some pine trees any advixe. Plus some color for the summer also. Live in zone 7


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waplummer(Z5 NY)

Why restrict yourself to Hostas (summer blooming) and azaleas (spring blooming)? Also I would suggest limbing up the trees and check how dry it is. that would affect your choices.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2006 at 10:01PM
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These are tall carolina pines the limbs are mainly at the top, but the area is also shaded by other trees around. I plan to add soil and compost and visit my fav nursery.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2006 at 10:29AM
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magda(Z 5b/6aOnt Can)

I had to plant my rhododendrons inside cardboard boxes, because the ones I had planted before were strangled by the pine roots. The ones I planted in boxes are doing fine (third year). Hostas, on the other hand, are fine without any protection. So are violets, holly bushes, viburnums and Sedum Matrona.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2006 at 8:13AM
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I have hosta's growing under my pines. They do well but require more watering than the hosta's I have growing in other areas of my garden. They compete with the pine trees for moisture and during the dryest days of the summer they tend to wilt if I forget to water them.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2006 at 1:06PM
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Some hydranga, impatiens, fern, gardenia and coleus will add interest and some color, too.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2006 at 7:40AM
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Am I the only one who hates Hostas?...(Don't throw rocks at me)...I wish that I did like them because they are so easy to grow and come back every year...neighbor across the road has them planted everywhere and they thrive...I like to grow something that the neighbors aren't growing...
Deb, Impatiens and Hydrangas grow real well under trees here and add color.
Magda,can you tell us more about how to plant in a cardboard box? I've never heard of that.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2006 at 11:45AM
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ImaHockeyMom(SW Mich--Zone 5)

Caladium can give an alternative to hostas.

Personally, I like hostas simply BECAUSE of the fact that you pretty much can't kill them. And if you really get into it, you can find some that have pretty flowers, fragrant flowers, or particularly interesting foliage.

Until I got into the whole gardening thing last year, I thought hostas were JUST the plain-green leaves and nothing else. BO-RING! (That was what the previous owner had planted behind our deck.)

But now that I've seen the various shadings and variegated colorations that are available, I'm hooked! I like the white-green and yellow-green variegateds, which I think add a lot of interest over just clumps of green-only leaves. Definitely have to go to a nursery to look around, though -- the big box stores just don't have any true variety. Around here the most I've ever seen in a large retailer (not a nursery, but a place like Walmart or Home Depot or the like) was a total of three different varieties to choose from. My fave local nursery had over 20, and there are reputable mail-order places w/ hundreds.

Hostas can be fun, but you definitely are better off doing some research first so you don't get stuck w/ just the boring stuff.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2006 at 10:42AM
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dpinker1(z4 NY)

Hi, I just planted a Lady Fern, Sweet woodruff, Impatients, Primrose, Balsam which I am growing because I love it, Forgetmenots which look great going around the outside of it and Jacob's Ladder which is suppose to to well. I have a few more but can't recall their names. My friend is giving me the Bleeding Heart which is suppose to be wonderful. Coral Bells are also supppose to do very well and columbine which I have in other shade areas. It's fun to do a diagram and go for it. My husband put extra soil out from the tree quite a few feet so that I could do a small shade garden. It came out great and was fun to do. Oh, I also added Bugleweed (Ajuga reptans). It tolerates deep shade and is for zones 4-11. Coleus is suppose to work well but doesn't do well for me so I skipped that one. I did a mix and can't wait for them all to come up. Hope this gives you some idea's.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2006 at 6:06PM
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I HATE HOSTAS TOO! If you want your yard to look like everyone else's---- sure, go ahead, be boring, and plant hostas. But if you want to be unique, and wow people with your garden, there are so many other choices out there... As far as planting under trees is concerned, my only advice would be to keep the plants well-watered for the first season, because when roots are competing for water, the tree's roots will most always win out... That is why I suggest choosing plants and shrubs that naturally occur in a woodland setting and therefore have adapted to competing with tree roots for water. I have the following plants successfully growing under trees: tiarellas, hepatica americana, jack-in-the-pulpits, trilliums, jacob's ladder, and may-apple. Good luck...


    Bookmark   August 20, 2006 at 11:01PM
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On the subject of Hostas being indestructible -- When I moved into my house four years ago, there was a spider Hosta growing at the end of my driveway. My wife ran over it several times with her car before I finally ripped it up and threw it into a dark corner of my back yard to die.

It's doing just fine.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2006 at 9:39AM
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