The Q&A Archives: Vine for Shade and Poor Soil

Question: I have a trellis in my back yard that is under a tree and the soil is very rocky. I need that will grow over the trellis? Any suggestions?

Answer: The location as you have described it sounds like a very difficult one. The tree will provide not only shade but also block sunlight and rain from reaching plants below and its roots will steal moisture and nutrients from the soil. Rocky soil in itself is not necessarily bad, but you should be sure to add of plenty of organic matter to the soil when you prepare the planting area. You might try the fall-blooming, sweet-autumn clematis. The vine blooms in the fall and produces fragrant white flowers, and it tolerates shade. It can be cut back each spring as needed to keep it within bounds.

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