18 Things to Plant Under a Pine Tree

landscaping under pine trees

By Jennifer Poindexter

Landscaping your yard can seem difficult. There are many options and lots of places to plant new flowers.

If you have pine trees growing in your yard, you may be considering adding something beneath them to add more color to the area.

Don’t let this task overwhelm you. Instead, scroll through the options below to create a landscaping plan for your trees.

I’ll share the growing conditions needed and the planting zones where each plant remains hardy. Allow this information to make landscaping your yard a little easier.

Here is a list of things to plant under a pine tree around your home:

What You’ll Learn:

  • Various options for plants that can be cultivated under pine trees to add color and variety to your landscape.
  • Specific growing conditions and requirements for each suggested plant.
  • The importance of considering planting zones for ensuring the hardiness of the selected plants.
  • How to cater to the unique needs of different plants to ensure a thriving landscape.
  • The aesthetic and practical benefits of incorporating diverse flora beneath pine trees.

Things to Plant Under a Pine Tree

I’m a minimalist, but let’s be honest. Having bare spots around your yard can be hard to handle even if you have a minimalist personality.

Don’t allow the space beneath your trees to look unfinished. Here are a few things to plant under your pine trees to create a polished look:

1. False Goat’s Beard

False goat’s beard also goes by the name astilbe. These plants produce a base of green foliage and grow a triangle of small, colorful blooms.

When growing false goat’s beard, be sure to supply a location with partial shade and soil that’s evenly damp and well-draining. Expect false goat’s beard to remain hardy in planting zones three through nine.

hosta shade groundcovers

2. Hosta

Hostas are leafy plants that produce different shades of cream and green foliage. They’re an excellent way of providing a finished look to your landscape.

Should you decide to grow this plant, expect them to remain hardy in planting zones three through nine. They also require growing conditions which consist of morning sunlight with afternoon shade, along with well-draining soil.

3. Moneywort

Moneywort is a low-growing plant that produces rounded green foliage. It also goes by the name creeping Jenny. Though this plant only grows to be a few inches tall, it can spread more than a foot in width.

If you’re interested in growing moneywort, supply a location with moderate temperatures, ample sunlight, and soil that’s both consistently damp and well-draining. Expect moneywort to remain hardy in planting zones three through nine.

4. Daffodils

Daffodils are colorful flowers that are relatively low-maintenance and great for adding a splash of color to your landscape.

When growing this plant, it’ll need a growing area with plenty of sunlight to encourage blooming and well-draining soil. If the soil doesn’t drain adequately, the plants can rot. Daffodils remain hardy in planting zones three through eight.

5. Rhododendron

Rhododendrons are bushy, flowering plants which produce fluffy clusters of brightly colored blooms. If you live in a cooler growing location, rhododendrons could be a great fit beneath your pine trees.

These plants prefer milder weather and dappled sunlight. They also need well-draining soil. Expect rhododendrons to remain hardy in planting zones four through nine.

6. Solomon’s Seal

Solomon’s seal is a leafy plant that produces small, dangling blooms. This plant is a great option for growing beneath a pine tree where there could be larger amounts of shade.

As you might have guessed, Solomon’s seal prefers a growing space with full to partial shade and soil that’s both nutritious and well-draining. Solomon’s seal should remain hardy in planting zones three through nine.

7. Deadnettle

Deadnettle is another low-growing plant that produces green leaves and purple blooms. It only reaches heights a little over one foot.

When growing deadnettle, be sure to supply plenty of shade and moisture. This plant also needs soil that’s well-draining. Deadnettle remains hardy in planting zones three through eight.

8. Columbine

The columbine flower begins with a base of lush, green foliage. The plant produces thin stems which provide unique blooms that open wide like a star and have smaller, cup-shaped blooms in the center.

If columbine seems like a good plant to grow beneath your pine tree, be sure to supply amended soil that drains adequately. These plants also need dappled sunlight. Columbine plants remain hardy in planting zones three through nine.

9. Yellow Corydalis

Yellow corydalis is another shorter plant that’s a mixture between bountiful green leaves and small blooms which pop due to their bright yellow coloring.

If you’d like to grow yellow corydalis, then supply a growing location with full to partial sunlight. This plant also needs well-draining, evenly damp soil. Yellow corydalis should remain hardy in planting zones four through eight.

10. Crested Iris

Crested iris is a low-growing plant that produces green foliage and lightly colored blooms. This is a shorter plant that grows to be less than a foot tall.

When growing crested iris, it’ll need a location with partial sunlight and soil that’s nutritious, well-draining, and evenly damp. This plant remains hardy in zones three through eight.

11. Coral Bells

Coral bells are a favorite of mine because they provide a rich array of colors and are low-maintenance. This is great if you enjoy a no-fuss landscape.

If you wish to add coral bells to your landscape, provide a location with any type of lighting. These plants thrive in full sun or shade. They do require soil that’s both well-draining and nutritious. Plus, they remain hardy in planting zones four through nine.

12. American Wintergreen

American wintergreen is a low-growing ground cover with rounded, rich foliage. It also produces red berries.

When adding this plant beneath your pine tree, be sure to supply nutritious soil that’s well-draining. The plant also needs a spot with bright, indirect sunlight. American wintergreen should remain hardy in planting zones three through seven.

13. Canadian Ginger

Canadian ginger is a leafy green which spreads through rhizomes. This plant will spread about a half-foot each year and reach heights ranging between a half to one foot tall.

This plant needs a growing location with full to partial shade. It also needs well-draining soil that remains evenly and consistently damp. Canadian ginger remains hardy in planting zones four through six.

14. Ferns

I’m a huge fan of ferns. They’re great at adding color to your home but in a subtle way. Plus, they’re low-maintenance.

When adding ferns beneath your pine trees, be sure they’re in an area with plenty of shade and humidity. The soil should be consistently damp but also well-draining. How hardy your fern is depends upon the variety. Some remain hardy down to zones four and lower.

15. Hydrangea

Hydrangea bushes produce fluffy, colorful blooms. These plants require a little more room as they can reach heights ranging from four to twelve feet. The bright blooms of this plant can make quite the statement when peeping out from beneath your tree. 

If you’d like to try this look, provide morning sunlight with afternoon shade. You also must provide soil that drains well. Expect hydrangeas to remain hardy in planting zones three through ten.

16. Gardenia

Gardenia plants produce rich foliage and small, white blooms. If planting gardenia beneath your pine tree, ensure you plant on a side which receives morning sunlight but is protected from the afternoon sun.

Before adding this plant to your landscape, ensure you understand if it’ll thrive as an annual or perennial to know how to care for it. If you live in planting zones eight through eleven, gardenia should remain hardy and treated as a perennial.

17. Lily of the Valley

Lily of the valley is a plant with green, wavy foliage and small white blooms. The plant reaches heights around one foot.

When growing this plant, ensure the location contains soil that’s nutrient-dense, evenly damp, and well-draining. Expect lily of the valley to remain hardy in planting zones two through seven.

18. Foam Flowers

The last plant for us to discuss growing under a pine tree is the foam flower. Foam flowers grow from a base of green foliage.

From there, they produce thin stems with vertical blooms. This plant needs dappled sunlight and soil that’s consistently damp and well-draining. Foam flowers should remain hardy in planting zones three through eight.

You now have ample choices when adding plants beneath your pine tree. Decide upon the look you’d like and ensure you can meet the growing conditions.

By providing what your plant needs (and ensuring it’s a good fit for your planting zone), you’re setting up your landscape for success and beauty over the years.

Key Takeaways:

  • Diversity of Options: There are numerous plant options available that thrive under pine trees, ranging from flowering plants like Daffodils and Hydrangea to leafy greens like Ferns and Hosta.
  • Consideration of Growing Conditions: Each plant has unique requirements concerning sunlight, shade, soil type, and moisture levels which need to be met for optimal growth.
  • Planting Zones Matter: Ensuring that the chosen plants are suitable for your specific planting zone is crucial for their survival and flourishing.
  • Aesthetic Enhancement: Introducing a variety of plants under pine trees not only fills bare spots but also significantly enhances the aesthetic appeal of your yard.
  • Plan for Success: By carefully selecting plants based on their needs and your ability to meet them, you can establish a visually pleasing and enduring landscape.

Quick Reference Chart: Growing Plants Under Pine Trees

Plant Name Light Requirement Soil Requirement Planting Zones Additional Notes
False Goat’s Beard Partial shade Evenly damp, well-draining 3-9
Hosta Morning sunlight, afternoon shade Well-draining 3-9
Moneywort Ample sunlight Consistently damp, well-draining 3-9 Low-growing, spreads wide
Daffodils Plenty of sunlight Well-draining 3-8 Colorful, low-maintenance
Rhododendron Dappled sunlight Well-draining 4-9 Bushy, brightly colored blooms
Solomon’s Seal Full to partial shade Nutritious, well-draining 3-9 Small, dangling blooms
Deadnettle Plenty of shade Well-draining, moist 3-8 Low-growing, purple blooms
Columbine Dappled sunlight Amended, well-draining 3-9 Unique, star-like blooms
Yellow Corydalis Full to partial sunlight Evenly damp, well-draining 4-8 Short, bright yellow blooms
Crested Iris Partial sunlight Nutritious, well-draining, evenly damp 3-8 Low-growing, lightly colored blooms
Coral Bells Full sun or shade Nutritious, well-draining 4-9 Rich array of colors, low-maintenance
American Wintergreen Bright, indirect sunlight Nutritious, well-draining 3-7 Low-growing, produces red berries
Canadian Ginger Full to partial shade Evenly and consistently damp, well-draining 4-6 Spreads through rhizomes
Ferns Plenty of shade Consistently damp, well-draining Varies Variety dependent hardiness
Hydrangea Morning sunlight, afternoon shade Well-draining 3-10 Fluffy, colorful blooms
Gardenia Morning sunlight (Not specified) 8-11 Rich foliage, small white blooms
Lily of the Valley (Not specified) Nutrient-dense, evenly damp, well-draining 2-7 Small white blooms
Foam Flowers Dappled sunlight Consistently damp, well-draining 3-8 Vertical blooms

More About Things to Plant Under a Pine Tree



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