En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Planting under Pine Trees in Pocatello ID

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - April 08, 2014

From: Pocatello, ID
Region: Rocky Mountain
Topic: Plant Lists, Planting, Herbs/Forbs, Shrubs
Title: Planting under Pine Trees in Pocatello ID
Answered by: Larry Larson

QUESTION:

Hi I was wondering if you could give me some ideas of what I could plant under and near some pine trees for my area. The trees are huge and so it is also constant shade where I want to plant. Thanks for your time.

ANSWER:

 This Mr Smarty Plants is pleased to see a question from his old home country!   I have fond memories of the deep pine forests.  Thinking of that, though, reminds me that this is a tough question!  The natural areas near my home had a layer of pine needles, maybe some grasses and very light underbrush.  Let see what the Wildflower Center resources suggests for this situation.

Here are a couple previous answers that deal with the issue of trying to grow under pine trees:

Flower color under large pine tree from South Elgin IL      Brings up possible issues of alleopathy, this is a natural effect where the tree and the debris from the tree tends to suppress other plants.  A review of information on your pines [see the technique in the message] will let you know if this exists with your pine stand.

Flowers under pine trees from Elkhart Indiana 
So, we will use the same method detailed in the previous answers to find flowers that will grow in part shade, tolerate acidic soils and are native not only to North America but also to the area where they are to be grown

  The plants recommended for Idaho are published by the Wildflower Center as the Idaho Recommended Species.   I then sorted the list for herbs and shrubs which prefer shade and acidic soils.  This gives the following list of suggested species [I’ve noted whether they need moist or dry soil].  You may want to read about each plant with your location in mind; I would trust that some of these should work for you.

Actaea rubra (Red baneberry)    Habitat:  Rich, moist, deciduous & coniferous woods & thickets
Aquilegia coerulea (Colorado blue columbine)
Campanula rotundifolia (Bluebell bellflower) - dry
Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (Kinnikinnick)
Rudbeckia hirta (Black-eyed susan) – dry or moist
Rudbeckia laciniata (Cutleaf coneflower) – moist acid soil
Vaccinium uliginosum (Alpine blueberry) - wet
Lonicera involucrata (Twinberry honeysuckle) – moist to wet
Amelanchier alnifolia (Saskatoon serviceberry)
Rubus parviflorus (Thimbleberry) – dry or wet

 

From the Image Gallery


Red baneberry
Actaea rubra

Colorado blue columbine
Aquilegia coerulea

Bluebell bellflower
Campanula rotundifolia

Kinnikinnick
Arctostaphylos uva-ursi

Black-eyed susan
Rudbeckia hirta

Cutleaf coneflower
Rudbeckia laciniata

Twinberry honeysuckle
Lonicera involucrata

Saskatoon serviceberry
Amelanchier alnifolia

Thimbleberry
Rubus parviflorus

More Plant Lists Questions

Listings of the native plants in Texas
September 15, 2006 - What are the native plants in the state of Texas?
view the full question and answer

Hardy perennials for Chicago
June 15, 2007 - I have a duplex condo in Chicago. My basement or 1st floor is at sub-sidewalk level. This "patio" faces east and gets about 4 hours sun a day. It is about 8 feet high and covers an area 15x9. I'd l...
view the full question and answer

Plants for mountainous regions
April 04, 2007 - I am writing a novel which is set in a mountainous un-named region. Are there any plants,trees & shrubs that are common sights in a number of regions. I don't want anyone to be able to specifically ...
view the full question and answer

Groundcovers for Miami, FL
November 10, 2011 - I live in Miami, Florida. I have a medium size Bismarck Palm in my front yard. What would be a good ground cover other than grass around this palm?
view the full question and answer

Need plants beneficial or attractive to bees in Dripping Springs, TX
January 27, 2014 - Can you provide a specific list of plants beneficial or attractive to honey bees in the Texas Hill Country (we raise bees in Dripping Springs, TX.) Thanks.
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center