Best Plants for Planting Under Trees

You love your trees, but you don't love that expanse under which grass just won't grow! And let's not lie: planting under trees, also known as "dry shade," is one of the toughest garden conditions to deal with.

You're fighting a lack of direct sunlight and the fact that the plants must compete with the tree for moisture. But you are not stuck in a large wasteland in your garden!

There are many ground covers, perennials, and even small shrubs that are well adapted to trees.

Pay attention to a few things: If it's evergreen or shrub, make sure it survives winters in its USDA hardiness zone.

Also, dig individual holes rather than fill in the entire area and disturb many of the tree's surface roots.

Finally, just because a plant tolerates drought conditions does not mean zero water; You will still need to water well the first year as the plants establish and during dry spells in later seasons.

Here are some great options for planting under trees.



    Hostas come in an incredible variety of sizes, from small to 8 feet in diameter! Hostas generally develop their best color with a dose of the morning sun, but most types do well in shade (especially in warmer climates).

    Its attractive foliage, which comes in shades of green, blue-green, and green with white or yellow accents, is a nice pop of color under the trees.


    Showy heart-shaped leaves with silver flecks make brunnera an attractive and less common perennial to plant under trees.

    In spring it has small sparkling blue flowers. It is also very resistant to cold.

    Lenten Rose

    Also called hellebore, this perennial offers luscious blooms from late winter to early spring, depending on where you live. Its waxy leaves remain throughout the summer.

    Give it plenty of moisture to settle in, making it fairly drought tolerant.


    Many different types of ferns seem to squash under the trees! Their feathered leaves add interesting textural interest and are available in many different colors, including copper, dark green, and silver with burgundy accents.


    Abelia tolerates sun or shade, making it a good choice under large trees. Its foliage ranges from gold to green, and the sweet-smelling tubular flowers that pollinators love appear from summer to fall.

    It is a beautiful shrub for any garden.


    Ajuga, sometimes called bugleweed, actually grows like a weed! Quickly forms a dense layer of foliage that smothers weeds.

    The foliage ranges from yellowish-green to wine, with cobalt blue flowers from spring to summer.

    We hope you enjoy this video about Plants for Planting Under Trees:

    Source: Proven Winners

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