Planting Under Pine Tree - Knowledgebase Question

Minneapolis, MN (Zone 4)
Question by listtl1
September 27, 2006
In the front of my house I have a bare spot, it is under a pine tree, and it is a sandy area. My question is what type of plant, flower, or bush will grow and survive the pine cones?


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Answer from NGA
September 27, 2006

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The soil beneath pines 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 is so difficult to grow plants under pines, 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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