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Glossary Tip: Allelopathy

By sandnsea2
September 4, 2013

A biological process whereby a plant produces and releases a substance into the soil which is toxic or a growth suppressant to other plants.

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Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
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ShadyGreenThumb
Sep 3, 2013 6:03 PM CST
Plants can DO this?! Blinking
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uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you Smile.
Name: Janice
Cape Cod, MA, USA (Zone 7a)
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sandnsea2
Sep 3, 2013 6:34 PM CST
Yes, Cheryl, they sure do.

A classic example of this is the Black Walnut tree. Usually nothing will grow in a wide perimeter near its roots.

Here is some rather interesting reading about the phenomenon:

http://www.forestry.uga.edu/outreach/pubs/pdf/forestry/Walnu...
Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Composter Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Amaryllis
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ShadyGreenThumb
Sep 3, 2013 6:47 PM CST
That is very interesting, Janice. Thank you for posting your idea for me to learn from.
Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love Truly, Laugh
uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you Smile.
Name: Janice
Cape Cod, MA, USA (Zone 7a)
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sandnsea2
Sep 3, 2013 6:57 PM CST
My pleasure, Cheryl! I tip my hat to you.
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
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woofie
Sep 3, 2013 8:12 PM CST
This is a little trick that alfalfa does, too, except that it only affects other alfalfa seeds. It's also called autotoxicity in alfalfa. So if you have an alfalfa field that is getting old, you can't just throw out new seed. You have to till the old plants under and plant something else until the effect dissipates. One of the joys of *trying* to grow alfalfa! Hilarious!
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Janice
Cape Cod, MA, USA (Zone 7a)
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sandnsea2
Sep 3, 2013 8:35 PM CST
Thanks, Woofie! Interesting!
How long to wait to plant another Alfalfa crop?

found this:
http://www.americasalfalfa.com/AlfalfaUniversity/ECMD004966....

and
http://www.extension.purdue.edu/extmedia/AY/AY-324-W.pdf
[Last edited by sandnsea2 - Sep 3, 2013 8:37 PM (+)]
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Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
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woofie
Sep 3, 2013 9:12 PM CST
In our area, the neighbors I know who have replanted alfalfa just waited about a year before sowing new seed.
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Marilyn
Northern KY (Zone 6a)
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Marilyn
Sep 3, 2013 11:03 PM CST
The squirrels keep "planting" black walnuts directly next to our property. The are 2 trees (2 that I know of, hopefully not more). Crying Blinking Sad Thumbs down Grumbling
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Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
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zuzu
Sep 3, 2013 11:58 PM CST

Plants Admin

The allelopathic properties of Black Walnut trees are often exaggerated. I grow plants of dozens of genera in close proximity to a huge tree. I won't list them here, but they are listed in the first few posts of this thread, grouped according to their distance from the trunk, in the Juglone Cubit.

http://cubits.org/juglone/thread/view/30867/
[Last edited by zuzu - Sep 4, 2013 12:01 AM (+)]
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Name: Janice
Cape Cod, MA, USA (Zone 7a)
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sandnsea2
Sep 4, 2013 3:20 AM CST
woofie said:In our area, the neighbors I know who have replanted alfalfa just waited about a year before sowing new seed.


Thank you, Woofie!

Those darned squirrels, Marilyn......

Thank you, Zuzu, for the link! What a wonderful thread with such useful information!

It's good to hear that the tree is not universally problematic!
[Last edited by sandnsea2 - Sep 4, 2013 3:28 AM (+)]
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Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
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stone
Sep 4, 2013 9:40 AM CST
zuzu said:The allelopathic properties of Black Walnut trees are often exaggerated.

My thoughts exactly... There are a lot of people being scared off from growing a beautiful native tree as a result of the hype.

Maybe people oughta discuss the allelopathic properties of cogon grass instead...
Name: Janice
Cape Cod, MA, USA (Zone 7a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cottage Gardener Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums Tip Photographer
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sandnsea2
Sep 4, 2013 9:47 AM CST
It is a beautiful native tree, Stone. I agree.

Allelopathy need not be seen as a negative thing.
More it is a coping mechanism for the organism to protect its turf and resources for its own survival.

As in Zuzu's thread, many plants grow well near Walnut trees.
[Last edited by sandnsea2 - Sep 4, 2013 9:50 AM (+)]
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Name: Renée
Northern KY
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KyWoods
Sep 4, 2013 12:20 PM CST
It's true with black oil sunflowers, too. Anything we planted beneath the bird feeder died. The weeds, however, seem to have developed a tolerance to it... Grumbling
Name: Janice
Cape Cod, MA, USA (Zone 7a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cottage Gardener Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums Tip Photographer
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sandnsea2
Sep 4, 2013 3:51 PM CST
Amazing those weeds Grumbling ,huh, Renee?

If only perennials had the gene pool of weeds, they'd REALLY be perennials,.... capable of leaping tall buildings in a single bound!!! Hilarious!
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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woofie
Sep 4, 2013 5:09 PM CST
And landing on top of that building and taking root and taking over the world!!!! Hilarious! (too much SF at a tender age... Rolling my eyes. )
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Janice
Cape Cod, MA, USA (Zone 7a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cottage Gardener Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums Tip Photographer
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sandnsea2
Sep 4, 2013 5:56 PM CST
Hilarious! Hilarious! Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing

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hazelnut
Sep 6, 2013 6:57 AM CST
http://www.permies.com/t/5151/plants/Black-walnuts There is a list in this forum at Permies.com of plants that grow under/near black walnuts. There is another permaculture model in Toby Hemenway's Gaia's Garden.
Name: Janice
Cape Cod, MA, USA (Zone 7a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cottage Gardener Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums Tip Photographer
Daylilies Roses Orchids Miniature Gardening Lilies Irises
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sandnsea2
Sep 6, 2013 7:10 AM CST
Thanks for the great links, Hazelnut!

A wealth of useful and interesting information there! Thumbs up



[Last edited by sandnsea2 - Sep 6, 2013 7:17 AM (+)]
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hazelnut
Sep 6, 2013 7:16 AM CST
The stump of a black walnut tree that I cut down (shouldn't have) is now colonized by sand pears. Sand pears are sometimes used to graft roots of nursery-grown regular pears. My neighbor cut down his pear tree and left the root, which seeds like crazy all over the place. Its not malus, but I think this means pears don't mind growing around black walnuts.

wakingdream
Sep 7, 2013 7:11 AM CST
Does anyone know if the Aegopodium, Bishop's Weed has allelopathic properties? I thought I read that somewhere long ago. It is a highly invasive groundcover, sometimes variegated, sometimes all green, seldom welcome.

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