The Q&A Archives: Mountain And Cherry Laurel In The Shade

Question: I have a densly shaded spot under mature 30 foot pine trees. It is so shady that grass cannot grow underneath. Can I plant mountain and cherry laurels in this shady spot. There is one hour of indirect sun at 8am and thats it!!

Any chance of growth?? Would native rhododendron be better?? Any advice would be helpful. I need to plant something!

Answer: I'm afraid none of the shrubs you mention will thrive in such deep shade. Aucuba may be fine there, however. Another aspect of dense pine tree plantings is stiff competition for nutrients and moisture. When you dig beneath the pines, you'll find a dense network of roots. It may be best to plant your aucuba on a mound or raised bed to help it overcome the competition.

Other options for this kind of site is to grow impatiens and summer bulbs such as caladium in containers. Place a bench among the container garden, and you'll have a nice, cool, shady getaway this summer!

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