The Q&A Archives: spruce trees and perennials

Question: I'm putting in a new bed and I'd like to use my blue spruce and my other spruce as a background. I need to move day lilies, hydrangea, iris, and some other perennials from another bed. Will the spruce trees poison the soil for the perennials? I know tomatoes don't like spruce trees (learned the hard way).

Answer: The debris from your spruce trees can acidify the soil, and some plants are more sensitive to acidic soil than others. Hydrangea, iris and daylilies should be fine in close proximity to your trees, in terms of soil acidity, but you'll want to remember to water them as often as necessary - roots from large trees can compete for soil moisture and nutrients, which could leave your perennials with overly dry roots. Best wishes with your landscape!

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