The Q&A Archives: planting around a black walnut tree

Question: I have a large black walnut tree. Around the tree, what can I plant that the tree won't kill. I did transplant some day lillies and they made it. What else, with colors. The day lillies bloom early and then no color.

Answer: Black walnut (Juglans nigra) has a reputation for being allelopathic--that is, for inhibiting the growth of other plants. Small amounts of a substance called juglone are released by the tree roots, but a far greater amount of this growth-inhibiting chemical is found under the canopy of the tree. Some plants that are tolerant to juglone include: arborvitae, cedar, catalpa, clematis, daphne, elm, euonymous, forsythia, hawthorn, hemlock, sycamore, astilbe, begonia, bellflower, orange hawkweed, hosta, pansy, phlox, marigold, primrose, snowdrop, sweet woodruff, trillium and zinnia.

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