The Q&A Archives: Growing Grass Under Magnolia Tree

Question: I have an area about 8X20 under a Magnolia tree. I have been unable to grow grass and sustain it even after planting shade seed.


It is really difficult to grow grass, or anything else under a magnolia tree. Allelopathy is associated with magnolias. This is likely a survival mechanism developed by the tree to prevent root competition. For this reason growing plants beneath is usually not successful. Too, the steady dropping of leaves and debris naturally accumulates a nice layer of organic mulch beneath the tree to help feed the soil on an ongoing basis. The best approach is to leave the area beneath the tree mulched rather than battle the deep shade, dense roots, and allelopathy.

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