Flower That Grow In Dry Soil - Knowledgebase Question

Sedro-woolley, WA
Question by Norton_L
April 23, 2000
I have a big tall evergreen tree in my yard on the east side of my house and the flower bed under it is very dry and when it rains it still stays dry under it, what is the best kind of flowering plant to plant under it?


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Answer from NGA
April 23, 2000

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The soil beneath evergreens tends to be on the acidic end of the pH scale because of the needles they drop. Another problem associated with growing plants under pines is that the trees have fibrous roots near the soil surface which will compete with any other plant for moisture and nutrients. Additionally, the canopy of pines effectively divert rainwater so things are usually pretty dry directly under the trees. Now that you have a little background information on why it's so difficult to grow plants under evergreens, you're better equipped to make the right plant choices. Look for plants that grow well in acidic soils, have shallow roots, grow in partially shady locations, and don't mind dry conditions. Some of the plants that will adjust to these conditions include Artemisia, Erigeron karvinskianus (Santa Barbara Daisy), California Poppy, Heuchera (Coral Bells), Limonium, Evening Primrose (Oenothera), Penstemon, Romneya coulteri (Matilija Poppy), Salvia, Santolina (Lavender Cotton), Stonecrop, Campanula and Ferns of all kinds.

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