Which bushes grow under trees? Ideas for underplanting for shade

Trees are an important design element in the home garden. They offer cool shade, set accents and protect the garden from prying eyes. The area under the tree, however, is in full shade and can therefore appear dreary and bare. It is not easy to find the right underplanting for every woody plant. We have already summarized different variants for flowers and ornamental leaves. Now we also take a closer look at the question: “Which bushes grow under trees”.

Shrubs under trees: what to consider when planting?

Bushes under trees plant hydrangeas in purple white and blue

The area under a tall tree poses a challenge to the hobby gardener. The conditions are unfavorable for most plants because:

  • The area is in the shade and does not get any midday sun.
  • The weeds are difficult to remove because the area under the tree is often difficult to access.
  • There is root competition especially in trees that form shallow roots.
  • In autumn the deciduous trees shed their leaves and the autumn leaves cover the underplanting. This means that the plants cannot get enough sunlight in the winter months.

Planting Shrubs Under Trees: Useful Tips

Shrub peonies among booms plant yellow flowering perennials for shade

Which shrubs are particularly suitable for underplanting shady areas under trees? Be on the safe side and opt for shrubs that also thrive in nature in the shade of tall vegetation. They are mostly true survivors and can cope with dry and nutrient-poor soil and a shady location.

It is best to plant the shrubs together with the young trees. If that is not possible, then you can plant young plants around the tree. Large shrubs can damage the tree roots.

You can also build in an irrigation system for the root zones of trees and shrubs. This ensures that the tree and bushes get enough water and nutrients even during hot spells in summer.

You can cut off low branches to give you access to the area under the tree.

Dig a hole for each plant and add compost to the roots.

In the following we explain to you which shrubs are best suited for the shade area.

Flowering shrubs for shade that you can plant under trees

Hydrangeas under pine tree planting shrubs for shade

There are several different shrubs for shade that you can plant under trees. The flowering shrubs such as the azalea, the hydrangea, the camellia or the common Oregon grape are suitable for planting the tree slice. The evergreen shrubs such as the barberry, the olive willow and the European holly delight the eye all year round.

Flowering shrubs that grow under trees: the azalea and the rhododendron

flowering shrubs among trees purple rhododendron for shade cultivar Dandy

The azalea and the rhododendron are confusingly similar. The two plants are flowering shrubs that do well in partial shade. They are perfect as underplanting for deciduous trees, because their flowering period begins as early as April and ends in May. It is precisely during this period that the tree begins to sprout, so the azalea is in the light shade and can enjoy the sunlight for several hours a day.

Planting flowering shrubs for shade under trees: the hydrangea

Bushes among pink hydrangea trees

The hydrangea is also very suitable for underplanting trees. It thrives in light shade, partial shade and, depending on the variety, even in full shade. However, the shrub needs water. Therefore, you should either build in an irrigation system or water the hydrangea regularly. So that the flowering shrub can develop its full bloom, plant it under tall trees or conifers such as the thuja or the yew.

Which flowering shrub under the tree? The herbaceous peony

Shrubs for shade under trees plant shrub peony

The herbaceous peony is a real eye-catcher with its large flowers. The wood is about 2 meters high and forms pink, red or pink flowers. The perennial peonies prefer a location in light shade and need 4-5 hours of direct sunlight a day. The plant needs very little care. If necessary, you can fertilize them before flowering and then water them on particularly hot days.

Flowering shrubs for shade: the mountain laurel

Planting mountain laurel under trees choose shrubs for shade

The mountain laurel is an evergreen shrub that can be planted in groups under shady deciduous trees. It defies heat and cold, rain and drought and does not need to be cut back. The deciduous trees offer the best possible conditions that encourage its rapid growth. Because the autumn leaves protect the plant from frost and fertilize the earth. In June the mountain laurel forms numerous white flower buds. When the summer is very hot and temperatures top 30 degrees, the shrub can be watered.

Flowering shrubs as underplanting for trees: the Oregon grape

Shrubs that grow under trees common Oregon grape

The Oregon grape is a yellow flowering shrub that is well suited for underplanting trees. The Oregon grape does not mind the competition for roots with shallow roots, it can withstand the pressure of the roots without any problems and can cope with dry and nutrient-poor soil.

Evergreen underplanting for trees

Evergreen underplanting for trees to plant European holly

The European holly is an evergreen shrub that can reach a maximum height of five meters. Therefore it is suitable as underplanting of tall trees with dense tree canopies. For example the European beech. In order for the two trees to thrive, it is best to plant them together.

Evergreen shrubs under trees: the barberry

Evergreen underplanting for trees barberry

The barberry is an evergreen shrub with thorns, leaves with a serrated edge, yellow to orange flowers and orange to fiery red berries. The strong colors make even a dreary corner or niche under the tree shine. The barberry is an all-rounder because it grows both in the sun and in the shade. The plant is also undemanding when it comes to the soil. It thrives in dry and nutrient-poor soil. In summer you can also water the soil around the plant roots and fertilize it with compost.

Evergreen underplanting for trees: the olive willow

Evergreen underplanting for trees_ The olive willow

With its golden-green leaves, the olive willow brings a Mediterranean touch to the garden. The plant is suitable both as a soloist and for group planting. The drought-resistant shrub can thrive even in very nutrient-poor and salty soil. The wild plant is a true sun worshiper. In the meantime, however, there are breeds that prefer penumbra. The evergreen olive willow is one of them.

Find the right shrub for each tree

What bushes grow under oaks

Finding the right shrub for each tree is not an easy task. Here are several suggestions for underplanting trees that are considered true classics in the home garden.

What bushes grow under oaks?

Which bushes grow under oaks Alps currant and dog rose and tuft rose and snow

Wild roses are popular partners for the tall oak. A dog rose or a tufted rose will attract everyone’s attention both as a soloist and in combination with a snowball. If the oak is on the property line, then it can be combined with hedge plants such as the alpine currant.

What bushes grow under beeches?

What bushes grow under beech spindle bush viburnum honeysuckle

The beeches can also be planted under with a little prior knowledge. Which plants come into question depends closely on the nature of the soil and the light conditions. They can vary greatly from tree to tree. As a rule, however, the beech is a heart root, so it forms both flat and deep roots. The spindle bush, some viburnum varieties and the honeysuckle are suitable.

What bushes grow under fir, spruce and other conifers?

What bushes grow under fir trees under spruce trees

The following shrubs are suitable for planting areas under conifers such as firs and spruces:

  • Finger aralia
  • Trend berry
  • White dogwood
  • The will

What bushes grow under the walnut tree?

Planting the walnut tree under is a very difficult task. On the one hand, its leaves and roots release inhibitors that act as weed killers and increase the acidity of the soil. On the other hand, its crown is expansive and casts a thick shadow. Few survivors can handle it. But even they have no chance if they are not watered regularly.

  • Wood anemone
  • Bergenia
  • azalea