The Q&A Archives: plants under pine trees

Question: Hi, what kinds of perennials will grow best under pine trees?
Thank you, Darlene

Answer: Pine trees can be difficult to garden beneath because they are strong competitors for water and nutrients in the soil, and their branches prevent light as well as rain from reaching the ground. Also, the canopy of pine needles tends to increase the soil's acidity over time. You may need to experiment a bit and see what works best for you, but you might try some hostas and epimediums, or, for a groundcover try lamiastrum, hay scented fern, or Vinca minor. Your local professional nurseryman may have additional (or different) suggestions based on a more detailed understanding of the growing conditions where you are planting and your overall design goals. Good luck with your project!

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