Ask a Question forum: ground cover under pine trees

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Name: Cindi
Cedar Park, TX (Central TX) (Zone 8b)
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TexasGardner
Jul 8, 2015 11:40 PM CST
I would like to grow a flowering ground cover under a pine tree, all shaded area and very dry. Not sure what to plant that would thrive. Any suggestions?
Name: Celia
West Valley City, Utah (Zone 7a)
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Zencat
Jul 9, 2015 2:01 AM CST
Rhododendrons, azaleas and sweet woodruff come to mind. They are all acid loving and should thrive in the shade of a pine. Lily of the Valley might be a possibility, too. How much room do you have?
[Last edited by Zencat - Jul 9, 2015 8:35 AM (+)]
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Name: Cindi
Cedar Park, TX (Central TX) (Zone 8b)
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TexasGardner
Jul 9, 2015 6:33 AM CST
Its in a corner of the back yard, about 6 feet wide and 10 feet long, no sun gets through at all. Also, the roots of the pine tree are very thick and shallow. Can't dig a very deep hole. Thank you so much for your suggestions.
Name: Tom Cagle
SE-OH (Zone 6a)
Old, fat, and gardening in OH
Coppice
Jul 9, 2015 6:41 AM CST
I've seen lily of the valley under pine.
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
Jul 9, 2015 6:54 AM CST
Hi sturgeon42, Welcome! to All Things Plants!

You might want to trim the lower branches of the pine tree to allow a little more light beneath the tree for whatever you plant there. I googled and found this information that might be helpful for ground covers, etc. beneath pine trees in your Texas garden. Scroll down the page for the list: http://www.wildflower.org/expert/show.php?id=5553

The Blackfoot Daisy is really pretty and should do well in full to part sun:
Blackfoot Daisy (Melampodium leucanthum)
http://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=MELE2

A couple of ferns that should do well in bright shade:
Maidenhair Fern (Adiantum capillus-veneris)
Lady Fern (Athyrium filix-femina)
Christmas Fern (Polystichum acrostichoides)
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
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plantladylin
Jul 9, 2015 6:58 AM CST
Lily Of The Valley (Convallaria majalis)
http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFind...
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
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dyzzypyxxy
Jul 9, 2015 9:12 AM CST
You say the area under your pine is "all shaded and very dry".

Any of the above-mentioned plants will absolutely need to be watered at least for this summer, until they can get established. Once it gets a good root system you can taper off watering but keep an eye on it. The term "drought tolerant" doesn't mean a plant will survive with no supplemental water at all. Well, unless it stores water like a cactus.

Even in the shade, new plants need water every day, especially in hot weather. As it cools off and they grow some more roots, you can taper back to every second day etc. The pine tree itself will suck up a lot of water as well, another thing that will make it tough for any new plant to establish under there.
Elaine

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Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Composter Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Amaryllis
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ShadyGreenThumb
Jul 9, 2015 12:07 PM CST
We had to use a raised bed system above all the pine trees' surface roots in order to grow anything beneath it. It is near impossible to stop the pine roots from growing. The only way to plant is to plant above them. Note that whatever you plant above it, needs to have shallow roots or drought tolerant as the tree roots will continue to grab up whatever water you pour on your new bed. We add garden soil and mulch to our bed each year to keep up the height of the bed. And yet the bed stays drier than my others. Shallow rooted plants and bulbs seem to do well. But I have tried Japanese Iris and Hydrangeas without luck due to their high water needs. Welcome!
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Name: Cindi
Cedar Park, TX (Central TX) (Zone 8b)
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TexasGardner
Jul 10, 2015 5:19 PM CST
Thank You!

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