The Q&A Archives: Growing plants under Redwood Trees

Question: I live in Danville, California. I have four large redwood trees off my deck and the only thing visible is the trunks and the fence. Is there anything that I can plant under them that could survive the shade?

Answer: Many plants can't tolerate the deep shade under a redwood or can't compete with the tree's aggressive, shallow roots. Others dislike the acid soil that results from the thick mulch of redwood needles. In their native habitat, redwoods share their space with rhododendrons, azaleas, California Lilac, Dicentra (bleeding heart), Eriodictyon californicum Yerba Santa, and Spiraea douglasii (Western Spiraea) but you can choose any shade loving shrub that you especially enjoy. Best wishes with your landscape.

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