Planting under Pine Tree - Knowledgebase Question

Denver, Co
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Question by stufsplace
May 30, 2008
I have a 60 foot Blue Spruce in my front yard. It has killed everything I have planted under it. What is the best ground cover to plant under the tree

Answer from NGA
May 30, 2008
What you need is a ground cover that likes dry shade. You're in luck because there are several that should do well there: Periwinkle or myrtle (Vinca minor). This evergreen perennial vine trails the ground with shiny, dark green foliage and wonderful blue flowers in spring and sporadically throughout the summer and fall. Easy and low maintenance. Ajuga or bugleweed (Ajuga reptans). This ground cover spreads quickly by stolons or runners, and has lovely purple flowers in spring. There are many varieties to choose from, all with distinctive foliage: green, variegated, bronze, purple. Epimedium grandiflorum, sometimes known as barrenwort or bishop's hat. This plant has lovely, heart-shaped leaves and either pale yellow, white, or rose flowers in spring. It is slow to establish, but will hold its own against the competing roots. Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (Kinnikinnick) Evergreen; red, edible berries; use beneath established evergreens in acid soils.

Scratch the soil up the best you can and spread a couple of inches of topsoil to plant the ground covers in so they can take hold. All of these ground covers need to be watered the first summer until they are well established. After that they should do fine under normal rain conditions.

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