Enhancing Your Landscape: What to Plant Around Your Trees

If you have trees in your yard, you might be wondering how to make the space around them more visually appealing and inviting. Planting the right vegetation around your trees can not only improve the overall aesthetics of your landscape but also benefit the health of your trees and create a harmonious ecosystem. In this easy-to-read article, we’ll explore some fantastic plant options to consider for the areas around your trees.

Ground Covers:

Ground covers are low-growing plants that spread across the soil, creating a lush carpet-like effect. They are an excellent choice for the area around your tree’s base as they help retain soil moisture, suppress weed growth, and protect tree roots.

Popular Ground Cover Options:

– Creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia)

– Hostas (Hosta spp.)

– Ajuga (Ajuga reptans)

– Vinca (Vinca minor)

– Sweet Woodruff (Galium odoratum)

Shade-Loving Plants:

Since trees provide shade, consider planting shade-loving plants beneath them. These plants are well-adapted to low-light conditions and thrive in the sheltered environment under the tree’s canopy.

Popular Shade-Loving Plants:

– Impatiens (Impatiens walleriana)

– Ferns (Various species)

– Coral Bells (Heuchera spp.)

– Bleeding Heart (Dicentra spectabilis)

– Lenten Rose (Helleborus spp.)

Native Plants:

Choosing native plants for your tree surrounds is a great way to support local wildlife, conserve water, and promote ecological balance. Native plants have evolved to thrive in your region’s climate and soil conditions, making them low-maintenance and beneficial for local wildlife.

Popular Native Plant Options (Florida):

– Beautyberry (Callicarpa americana)

– Firebush (Hamelia patens)

– Walter’s Viburnum (Viburnum obovatum)

– Simpson’s Stopper (Myrcianthes fragrans)

– Coontie (Zamia integrifolia)

Flowering Shrubs:

Adding flowering shrubs around your trees can introduce bursts of color and attract pollinators to your garden. Be mindful of the mature size of the shrubs, ensuring they won’t outgrow the space and compete with the tree for resources.

Popular Flowering Shrubs:

– Azaleas (Rhododendron spp.)

– Hydrangeas (Hydrangea spp.)

– Gardenias (Gardenia spp.)

– Camellias (Camellia spp.)

– Butterfly Bush (Buddleia spp.)


Don’t forget the importance of mulch! Applying a layer of organic mulch around the base of your tree helps retain moisture, control weeds, and regulate soil temperature. Mulch also enhances the aesthetics of your landscape while protecting the tree’s root system.

A Word of Caution:

When planting around trees, be mindful of the tree’s root system and avoid damaging it. Don’t plant too close to the tree’s trunk, as this can harm the roots and compete for nutrients. Instead, focus on the area just beyond the tree’s canopy.

Enhancing the space around your trees with the right plant selections can transform your landscape into a vibrant and inviting sanctuary. Consider ground covers, shade-loving plants, native species, flowering shrubs, and the addition of mulch for a beautiful and ecologically friendly garden. Before planting, understand your tree’s needs and the local climate to ensure a harmonious and flourishing environment that benefits both your trees and the ecosystem as a whole. Happy gardening!

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