Garden design and maintenance

Arranging plants under conifers – Suitable species

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It’s no secret that the location of your plants in the garden plays an important role in helping them thrive. Some plants need less sun, others less. But the soil is also important and more precisely the pH, what the areas are for Plants under conifers becomes a problem area. Because there the needles ensure acidic soil. Accordingly, you need plants that like acidic soil. Lime-loving plants are rather unsuitable. In addition, the soil under firs and spruces, but also other conifers and the arborvitae and yew trees is relatively dry and the sun usually has difficulty or not at all penetrating the wood. So that you don’t have to take drastic measures and pull up the conifers, we have some ideas about which plants can grow under conifers. Remember that even with shade-loving plants, it is always best that at least some sun can penetrate the trees.

Plants under conifers – forest shrubs and grasses

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As you can already guess, plants that also grow in the forest are of course suitable. These include, for example, forest shrubs and grasses. The types that we would like to tell you have adapted perfectly to the special properties of the soil. Here are a few ideas and ways to plant under conifers:

Plant the cranesbill (geranium) under conifers


The flowers of the cranesbill can have a different shape depending on the subspecies and appear between May and September. The colors are shades of purple or pink. When choosing, make sure that you choose a species for planting under conifers that can tolerate the shade. Some varieties prefer the blazing sun. The plant is well suited as a ground cover.

Bearskin fescue (Festuca gautieri)


The bearskin fescue is well suited for planting under conifers. This type of grass has an attractive spherical shape and a strong color, which makes it impressive both as a single plant and in groups. The plant enjoys the dry soil under conifers particularly well. It is important to fertilize regularly.

Ferns under conifers

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Ferns are becoming increasingly popular, especially in modern garden design. The reason for this is that they are relatively undemanding. For this reason, these plants are also very welcome under conifers.

Waldschmiele (Deschampsia caespitosa)


Like all grasses, this attractive species for planting under conifers can bloom. The flowers themselves have a golden brown color and delight the eye for a very long time. The plant is hardy and can be cut to any size. Otherwise, this type of grass as a plant under conifers can reach a height of up to 120 cm.

Ordinary plants under conifers

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In spite of the more specific requirements, special plants do not have to be used straight away. Because there are also typical garden plants that are normally planted in other locations, but are still suitable as plants under conifers. Such are for example:

Floribunda rose Bonica


This gorgeous rose has large pink flowers that grow in clusters. Since it is very easy to care for, it can also be used for planting under conifers. With their help, you will undoubtedly get a real eye-catcher in the garden.

Bee friend (Phacelia)


The flower, suitable for planting under conifers, has a good reason for its name. It not only attracts bees, but is also very popular with other insects such as butterflies and bumblebees. Since this is an annual plant, you can decide every year whether you want to plant it again. The flowers are a pretty light purple color.

Five-fingered shrub (Potentilla fruticosa)


Its pretty yellow flowers instantly make every corner of the garden look prettier. Instead of yellow flowers, you can also choose white flowers. A great variant for planting under conifers is of course to combine both colors with each other. In shady areas, light colors like white and yellow are beneficial as they make the whole atmosphere brighter and friendlier.

Cotoneaster (Cotoneaster)


The cotoneaster is a low shrub that produces pretty, red fruits. There are evergreen species that are popular as ground cover. So if you plant these plants under conifers, they will delight you not only with pretty green leaves, but also with red accents.

Bergenia (Bergenia)


If you want to plant these attractive plants under conifers, it is best to combine several colors. The pretty flower is available in pink, white and red. It should be noted that at least a partial shade must be guaranteed for them. So a dense shade is not suitable for you, because you are very fond of the sun.

Spiraea chamaedryfolia (Spiraea chamaedryfolia)

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With the sparrow you get the feeling, even in the warm summer months, as if there is snow on the branches. The reason for this are the pretty, white flowers that grow spherically on the branches. If you want to choose a place for the shrub to plant under conifers, it is best to choose an area on the fence. With a height of up to two meters and a dense growth of branches, it is perfect as a privacy screen in both summer and winter.

Plants under conifers – dwarf gorse (Chamaecytisus)

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The dwarf gorse is also available in different colors. Choose between pink, yellow or white flowers. Dry soil is good for the plant, but partial shade is important. Use the hardy and easy-care plants under conifers as ground cover.

Plant succulents


The succulents are known for their unpretentiousness, which makes them the perfect plant for beginners. Now it may come as no surprise that they also do well as plants under conifers. Of course, the best locations that get some sun are also best there. The plants do not die in full shade, but there will hardly be any flowers.

Stonecrop (Sedum acre)

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When it comes to stonecrop, it should be noted that, like all other types of succulents, it loves strong and permanent sunlight. For this reason, the plants under conifers must be guaranteed at least partial shade. If the light is not enough for them, they lose their pretty colors and their growth is also sparse.

Roof root (Sempervivum)

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The roof root impresses with its pretty rosettes, which gradually expand in width. This makes the plant a popular ground cover, which also thrives in planters. A partial shade is to be preferred again when planting under conifers. If this very easy-care plant feels good, it will also flower in summer.

Alpine plants under conifers

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Plants that are used to design the rock garden can also be planted under conifers. Especially the front area around the tree can be wonderfully planted with them. At least some sun is an advantage, but not a must. With their help, you can make the soil pretty, because they are excellent ground covers.