The Q&A Archives: English Ivy

Question: Can you tell me whether English Ivy will grow around the base of Black Walnut trees? People tell me the many things will NOT grown near walnut trees, but I'd like to cover the mulch around the trees with greenery.

Answer: The leaves, bark and roots of walnut trees contain a growth inhibiting chemical called Juglone. Some plants are extremely sensitive to Juglone and others are quite tolerant. Ivy is tolerant of Juglone, as are Astilbe, Bee Balm, Bellflower, Bergamot, Ajuga, Coral Bells, Crocus, Shasta daisy, wild ginger, Lamb's ear, Lungwort, Morning Glory, Pansy, Phlox, Marigold, Primrose, Sweet Cicely, Honeysuckle and Zinnia. When planting under any tree, remember that feeder roots close to the surface of the soil will compete with the roots of other plants. As a result, you may have to water more frequently to keep the plants supplied with adequate moisture.

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