Friday, August 13th, 2010...10:55 am

Growing Plants Under Conifers

Bunchberry (Cornus canadensis) by ann j p

TheGardenLady received this question from Bronwyn.

I’m trying to find a low growing plant (20cm max height) for planting under my conifers.  The garden is extremely bare under the conifers. Do you have any advice please?

It can be tricky to grow plants under your conifer because a) you need something that likes the acidic soil the conifer grows in b) you need something that doesn’t need much sunlight and c) in your case, you are asking for something that is under 8 inches tall. Your choice will depend also on whether your soil is dry or moist under the conifer.

Here are a few suggestions:

Cornus canadensis Bunchberry is about 6 inches (15 cm) tall zones 2 to 7  See here.

Gaultheria procumbens wintergreen (15cm) zones 3 to 8  See here.

Maianthemum canadense Canada Mayflower (up to 25cm) zones 3 to 7  See here.

Mitchella repens Partridge berry (8cm) zones 4 to 9  See here.

Sunshine Farm is a great source to buy some of these plants. The owner is very knowledgeable about the plants he sells and could advise you on the best choices. Let TheGardenLady know what you chose and how it is doing. A photo would be lovely.

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1 Comment

  • These spots are always so difficult to cover. Azaleas are also great for that but probably a bit too large. They would grow higher than 20cm.

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