The Q&A Archives: himalayan sarcococca

Question: Can this low growing shrub be planted under tall pines to act as ground cover..or do the pine needles have too much acid

Answer: Sarcococca hookeriana var. humilis is shade tolerant and slowly spreads to cover an area so it might work for this location. It is not a fast spreader so it would definitely take time. The acid would not be a problem as it prefers an acidic soil. My main concern is that the soil may be depleted and not rich enough and also too dry due to being beneath large trees with competing roots as well as branches that block the rain. These shrubs do best in evenly moist yet well drained, acidic, humusy, organic soil. If you are not sure, you might experiment with just one or two and see how they do before investing in a broad scale planting. This is a lovely plant though so I hope you find a spot for it in your garden somewhere!

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