Magnificent, mature trees dominate your property with their beautiful presence. Trees are precious allies for the environment. In addition to being champions of CO2 sequestration, trees lower the ambient temperature, provide shelter and food for many insects, birds and small animals, and also create precious shade when temperatures are high. However, because of the intense shade created by their dense foliage paired to the impressive root system of many species, it is often difficult to have some beautiful grass or plants at the base of your trees. Sometimes mulch is the best option, but be aware that by making the right choices, it is feasible to plant annuals, perennials and plants under the trees, and to create beautiful and colourful flower beds that will give even more beauty to your landscape.
Plants that tolerate shade
Whether you choose annuals or perennials, be sure to choose varieties that are shade tolerant. The more the leaves of the tree develop, the less the sun will reach your plants. Your plants will already have to work hard to develop their root system through the trees’, give them the maximum chance to grow well.
Shade tolerant annuals :
- Tuberous begonia
- New-Guinea Impatiens
Shade tolerant perennials :
- Leopard plant
Add a geotextile membrane and a good layer of planting soil before planting, to give them the opportunity to take root firmly without having to fight against the already well established tree roots.
Think of the bulbs
Because spring-blooming bulbs – daffodils, crocuses, tulips, snowpiercer and others – emerge very early in the spring, before the trees have even leafed out, they do very well under trees. This is a great way to get your yard to bloom before your other plants come back to life after winter, or before the ground has warmed up enough to plant annuals.
And why not in a pot?
If you’ve already done several experiments and nothing seems conclusive, all is not lost. You can always use pots, planters and others, and place them under your trees. To ensure success, however, choose plants that are shade tolerant. You can also bury the pots in the ground so they look like in-ground plants. Plug the drainage holes in your pots so that the roots of the trees don’t get in and prevent your beautiful flowers from blooming. Guaranteed wow effect!
Our garden centre experts can help you find the right plants to put under your trees, and advise you on how to optimize their planting. For more advices, read the gardening tips section of our website.