The Q&A Archives: Which Ground Cover?

Question: I'm trying to decide which type of ground cover to plant under a pine tree. It receives some sun, but is mostly shady. Everything that I've planted in the past doesn't hold up to the carpet of needles that is left behind every year. What do you recommend?

Answer: It's really difficult to grow anything under a pine tree. You'll notice that in a natural forest setting, little if anything grows under the pines--perhaps a few ferns and wildflowers. You might be better off leaving your pine as is, setting a nice park bench out under it, and enjoying that wonderful pine smell. You could put a few containers out there, filled with flowering plants, and create a very peaceful, inviting spot. If you absolutely want a ground cover, you might try carpet bugle (Ajuga reptans) as this is a durable, adaptable plant.

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