The Q&A Archives: Planting In Cedar Stumps

Question: I have 3 large cedar stumps that are in full sun all day. We have carved the tops for planting. I would like some suggestions for plants that will survive in the rains in winter as well as not being watered in the heat of summer.

I would like to have a tall grass-like plant as well as some kind of trailing vine.

Thank you.

Answer: Rather than planting directly in the stumps, why not carve the depressions out enough to accommodate plastic pots? This way you can rotate your plants if you get tired of them and the roots of the plants won't come in direct contact with the cedar. (Cedar has a way of discouraging the growth of other plants because of the oil in the wood.) Some terrific ornamental grasses that do well in the Pacific Northwest include Blue Fescue, Japanese Ribbon Grass, Stipia (feather grass), Panicum (switch grass), and Pennisetum (fountain grass). Some colorful annuals and perenials include Vinca minor, Fuchsia, trailing Geranium, Kennelworth Ivy, Petunia and Lantana. All will need some water during the hottest months of the year. Good luck with your new garden!

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