Annuals Under A Maple Tree? - Knowledgebase Question

Name: Michelle Gammaitoni
Lansdale, PA
Question by gammaitoni
March 14, 2000
I would like to know which annuals can grow under a maple tree. My front was lanscaped last year and already has some hostas and lilly-turf. The roots of the tree run about halfway up my small courtyard and the tree is in the center of the landscape with the hostas around it. The plants would get part sun in the morning and early afternoon. I also have clay-like soil.

Answer from NGA
March 14, 2000


Unfortunately maple trees are very difficult to garden under due to the foliage canopy preventing rain and sun from reaching the ground and due to the roots stealing moisture and nutrients from the soil. Your hostas and lily turf are likely to be able to survive there, but they are very tough and undemanding plants. Annual flowers on the other hand will probably not do well there. If it is partially shady you might consider using a large container or two filled with flowers such as impatiens, lobelia, bedding begonias and violas. Caladiums, specialty ivies (Hedera helix) with nicely patterned foliage, and coleus are also possiblities.

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