The Q&A Archives: Best Plantings

Question: What can I plant under redwood trees?

Answer: Gardening under redwoods can be problematic. Shade is the most obvious problem, but tree roots often dislike being disturbed such as when you're from cultivating the soil prior to planting. Then there is the competition for moisture and nutrients between the tree and any annuals or perennials you plant. If you can keep your plants at least 10' away from the trunks of your trees, you can grow the following perennials: Wolly Yarrow, Aloe, Artemisia, Bergenia, Erigeron (Santa Barbara Daisy), California Poppy, Heuchera (Coral Bells), Sage, Evening Primrose, Oregano, Stonecrop (Sedum) and Thyme. None of these will provide flowers for cutting, but all will look nice in a bed. If you can plant further away from the trees, out of the root zone, you can grow these shade-loving plants: Windflower, Columbine, Astilbe, Browallia, Campanula, Clivia, Lily-of-the-Valley, Digitalis, Helleborus, Iris and most lilies. Some of these plants produce flowers for cutting.

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