The Q&A Archives: Growing Tips

Question: My backyard is on the east side of my house. We have a 25 year old mulberry in the middle of the south side. We are unable to grow any grass under or around it due to shade. Also have difficulty with annuals. Any suggestions on what to do about the grass and what type flowering plants we could use on the perimeter?

Answer: The site you describe will be quite challenging for most plants; your mulberry tree roots will compete for moisture with anything you plant so you'll need to concentrate on plants that grow well in dry shade. Here are a few suggestions:

Amorpha fruiticosa (False Indigo), Ceanothus greggii (Desert Ceanothus), Chamaebatiaria millefolium (Fern Brush), Juniperus communis (Common Juniper), Mahonia aquifolium (Oregon Grape), Mahonia repens (Creeping Barberry), Pachystima myrsinites (Mountain Lover), Rubus parviflorus (Thimbleberry), Sambucus coerulea (Blue Elderberry), Symphoricarpas albus (Snowberry), and Yucca baccata (Banana Yucca).

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