The Q&A Archives: Shrubs Under Pines for Privacy

Question: There are tall narrow pines that grow along the road in front of my house. There are no branches below five feet, so the road is in full view. I want to grow some sort of shrub to block the view of the road. I need suggestions for plants that grow only grow 4 to 5 feet tall that would look nice beside the tall pines. I want to plant another flower garden in front of it so I don't want a bush that will have to be trimmed each year.

Answer: Pines make it hard for other plants to grow around them; they drink most of the moisture and create a very acidic soil environment. Rhododendrons, azaleas and mountain laurel will tolerate the shade and require acid soil, but they also need a porous, humusy soil that holds moisture, but still drains well. You can probably make it work for them if you build mounds or a long berm of rich, woodsy soil to plant them on, and then install a drip irrigation line that will provide them with adequate water.

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