15 Things You Can Plant and Grow Under Cedar Trees


These are daffodil bulbs being planted under the natural area of a tree to show which plants to grow under cedar trees.

By Jennifer Poindexter

Do you have a true cedar growing in your yard? I use the term true cedar because there are many different trees labeled as cedar trees that aren’t truly cedars.

If you’re fortunate to have one of these trees around your home, it’s a wise idea to plant something beneath them to add more character to your landscape.

When searching for ideas on what to plant beneath your cedar tree, don’t become overwhelmed. Instead, peruse through the list provided here and pick the plants which are right for your area.

Here are things to plant under cedar trees:

What Is a False Cedar and How to Know You Have a True Cedar

There are many trees that share similar characteristics to a cedar tree and since they grow in the same areas, they’re frequently labeled as a cedar tree.

In truth, a cedar tree must come from the genus, Cedrus. You can spot a true cedar tree due to its evergreen needles that form thick groups on thin branches.

True cedar trees also produce cones. These cones peek up over the needles and as they mature, each cone separates.

Cedar trees are also known for being low-maintenance and can tolerate a variety of soil types. They also can survive short periods of drought.

Keep in mind, you need room to grow this tree as they can reach heights up to one hundred feet! Take this information into consideration when deciding if a cedar tree is right for your yard.

Now that we’ve discussed a few ways to identify a true cedar tree and what to expect, let’s discuss how to care for plants which grow beneath them.

Ground Rules of Planting Beneath a Cedar Tree

When planting beneath your cedar tree, there are a few ways the plants can assist the tree. One is that the plants can help absorb any excess water which might cause issues for the cedar.

Another benefit is that the plants can help loosen the soil around the tree which is good for a cedar’s roots.

However, there are a few things to keep in mind when planting beneath a cedar. The first thing is that it’s best to plant directly into the soil when growing plants around a cedar.

A cedar tree has shallow roots and raised beds or containers can make it hard for the roots to breathe. Along the same lines, be mindful when planting beneath a cedar to ensure you don’t damage the shallow root system.

Lastly, avoid planting around a cedar while it’s still young and becoming established. Wait until the tree has reached maturity to landscape around it.

These are a few things to consider before planting beneath your cedar tree.

Things to Plant Under Cedar Trees

You should have a better foundation to start from once taking the needs of the cedar tree into consideration prior to planting beneath it.

Now comes the fun part. Let’s discuss the different plants which should do well when grown beneath a cedar tree:

1. Wintergreen

Wintergreen is a creeping ground cover which produces dark green foliage and small red berries. This is a great way to add subtle color beneath your cedar tree.

When growing this plant, be sure to provide bright, indirect light. You should also keep the soil evenly damp and ensure it’s well-draining. Expect wintergreen to thrive in temperatures around 65-degrees Fahrenheit and remain hardy in planting zones three through seven.

2. Hosta

Hostas are beautiful plants that produce green foliage and are an excellent choice to provide a polished look beneath your cedar tree.

If you decide to add hostas beneath your tree, be sure they receive partial shade and are grown in well-draining soil. They like a growing space with some moisture but should never be oversaturated. Hostas remain hardy in planting zones three through nine.

3. Christmas Fern

Christmas ferns are beautiful green plants with unique, ridged foliage. If you want a livelier landscape without loads of color, ferns are a great way to achieve this.

As you introduce ferns to their new growing location, ensure you provide an area with soil that’s damp and cool, but well-drained. Ferns also thrive in areas of shade. They should remain hardy in planting zones three through nine.

4. Daffodils

Daffodils are beautiful flowers with green foliage and yellow blooms. These flowers are an excellent way to add a splash of color beneath your cedar tree.

These plants can thrive in areas with partial sunlight, but won’t produce as many blooms. If there’s one side of your cedar tree which receives more sunlight, this could be the best place for daffodils. Also, ensure they’re grown in well-draining soil to avoid issues with rot. Daffodils remain hardy in planting zones three through eight.

5. Ice Plant

Ice plants are vibrant due to their color patterns. They’re hard to overlook because of their bright petals and lighter centers. These flowers are a great way to draw the eye to your cedar tree.

If ice plants are something you’re interested in growing, you must provide a growing location with full to partial sunlight and well-draining soil. The less sunlight the plants receive, the fewer blooms they’ll create. Ice plants remain hardy in planting zones five through nine.

6. Butterfly Bush

Butterfly bushes have a base of lush foliage. Out of this, comes cone-shaped clusters of colorful blooms. It’s an excellent way to add a subtle pop of color beneath your cedar tree.

Expect these plants to thrive in areas with full to partial sunlight. The temperatures around your planting location determine how much light they need. These plants don’t care about soil type, but it’s vital the soil drains adequately. Butterfly bushes remain hardy in planting zones five through ten.

7. Balloon Flower

Balloon flowers grow round heads that eventually pop open and produce cup-shaped blooms. They’re hard to miss due to their blue coloring.

As you add this plant to your growing location, ensure it has partial sunlight and soil that’s well-draining. Balloon flowers remain hardy in planting zones three through eight.

8. Forsythia

Forsythia bushes are a beautiful yellow color and demand attention when they’re in full bloom. If you’d like to brighten the space beneath your cedar tree, don’t overlook this shrub.

However, you should be prepared to provide forsythia with full to partial sunlight. They also need well-draining soil. Forsythia bushes remain hardy in planting zones four through nine.

9. Periwinkle

Periwinkle is a low-growing plant which consists of green leaves and dainty, light colored flowers. This is a nice way to add some color and texture to your landscape.

When growing periwinkle, expect them to remain hardy in planting zones four through nine. They also need a growing space with full to partial shade and acidic soil that drains adequately.

oakleaf hydrangea growing in a flower bed under among other trees

10. Oakleaf Hydrangea

Oakleaf hydrangea is a bushy plant with similar leaves to that of an oak tree. They also produce clusters of cone-shaped blooms.

If you add these plants to your landscape, provide a growing space with nutrient-dense soil that drains adequately. These plants should remain hardy in planting zones five through nine.

11. Heartleaf Bergenia

Heartleaf Bergenia plants consist of heart-shaped foliage and drooping stems which are full of colorful blooms.

If you’d like to know if this plant could be a good fit for your area, consider their growing conditions and your planting zone. Heartleaf Bergenia grows best in areas with indirect, bright lighting and soil that’s well-draining but evenly damp. This plant remains hardy in planting zones three through eight.

12. Foam Flower

Foam flowers start as a base of lush green leaves. From there, they produce long, dainty stems with small blooms.

They should make a great addition to most any landscape. However, be sure you can supply foam flowers with partial sunlight and well-draining soil. Expect foam flowers to remain hardy in planting zones three through eight.

13. Fringed Iris

Irises are a wonderful addition to yards, gardens, and even beneath a cedar tree. These plants have rich green foliage and floppy blooms. This variety of iris is a little different because the blooms have a fringed appearance.

If you think this flower is the right fit for your landscape, be sure to provide the plant with partial shade and soil that’s nutrient-dense and well-draining. Fringed iris flowers remain hardy in planting zones seven through nine.

14. Lungwort

Lungwort is another plant with a rich base of foliage which produces skinny stems and tear-drop shaped blooms in pink or purple which turn into a deeper blue as the plant matures.

Should you add this plant to your landscape, expect it to remain hardy in planting zones four through eight. Lungwort thrives in areas with partial shade and soil that’s nutritious and well-draining.

15. Rhododendron

Rhododendrons are another bushy variety of plant which could make a great addition when planted under a cedar tree. These plants consist of rich foliage and fluffy clusters of colorful blooms.

When growing this plant, ensure you provide mild temperatures, well-draining soil, and partial shade. It should remain hardy in planting zones four through nine.

These are fifteen options for things to plant under cedar trees. There are plants that are great for adding texture and some which are great for providing color.

Then there are some plants which provide both. Pick the plants which most suit your style, ensure you have the right growing conditions, then begin crafting a beautiful landscape beneath your cedar tree.

More About Cedar Trees

https://plants.ces.ncsu.edu/plants/cedrus-atlantica/

https://treespnw.forestry.oregonstate.edu/conifer_genera/true_cedar.html

https://www.pubs.ext.vt.edu/3010/3010-1467/3010-1467.html

The post 15 Things You Can Plant and Grow Under Cedar Trees appeared first on Gardening Channel.

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