Planting Under Cedar Trees, 18 Landscaping Ideas


By Erin Marissa Russell

The structure and root system of cedar trees can make it a bit of a challenge to landscape underneath them. That’s why we’ve put together this list of ideas for 18 different plants you can grow underneath cedar trees. Take a look at the plants listed here to find out which will work the best in your garden.

growing astilbe

Astilbe

Astilbe is a delightful perennial that will reward your investment of time and energy with tall spires of blossoms in pink, red, or white. It’s also called false spirea and false goat’s beard. This is an incredibly low-maintenance flower, and a perennial as well, so you can count on astilbe for year after year of gorgeous color in your garden.

Growing Zones: 3 through 8

Mature Size: 6 inches to 2 feet tall with a 6-inch to 5-foot spread

Sun: Prefers partial shade but will tolerate either full sun or full shade

Soil: Slightly rich, slightly acidic loamy soil that stays moist

For more information, see our article How to Grow Astilbe Flowers.

Boston Ivy (Parthenocissus tricuspidata)

The long vines of Boston ivy look lovely climbing up a tree trunk, trellis, or other support. The vigorously growing vines will ramble up and down any support or structure they can reach. In fact, if you don’t want Boston ivy growing up a particular structure, be sure to plant it at least 15 feet away.

Growing Zones: 4 through 8

Mature Size: Vines reach 30 to 50 feet long

Sun: Partial shade to full sun; will tolerate full shade, but fall coloration will be affected

Soil: Will adapt to a variety of soil conditions, but prefers loamy soil with good drainage

For more information, see our article How to Grow Boston Ivy.

growing boxwood under cedar trees

Boxwood (Buxus)

Boxwood shrubs are prized for their neat appearance when pruned. They create a perfect hedgerow and can also be used as a privacy hedge. They are also resistant to deer and other wildlife.

Growing Zones: 5 through 8

Mature Size: 15 to 20 feet high with a 15- to 20-foot spread

Sun: Full sun or partial shade; give at least four hours a day of direct, unfiltered sunshine

Soil: Adaptable to a variety of soil conditions, boxwood will grow in acidic or alkaline soil that drains well, whether sandy, silty, or loamy

For more information, see our article How to Grow Boxwood Shrubs.

Butterfly Bush (Buddleja davidii)

Butterfly bush got its name from its ability to attract butterflies, along with other beneficial pollinators. They are sometimes called summer lilacs. The spires will become heavy with clusters of pink, purple, red, white, and yellow blossoms in summertime, and blooms continue through fall.

Growing Zones: 5 through 9

Mature Size: 5 to 8 feet tall by 5 to 8 feet wide

Sun: Full sun; provide a minimum of 8 hours of direct, unfiltered sunlight each day

Soil: Average soil that drains well, with a pH level between 6.0 and 7.5

For more information, see our article How to Grow Butterfly Bush (Buddleja davidii).

growing camellia under cedar trees

Camellia

Camellias bloom in fall and winter in lovely shades of pink, red, and white. Some of the varieties of camellia prefer more shade than others, so do a bit of research on the specifics of the variety you choose to grow.

Growing Zones: 7 through 10 (some varieties can be grown in zone 6)

Mature Size: Can reach heights of 25 feet, but 6 to 12 feet is more usual

Sun: Partial shade, though plants can thrive in full sun once well established

Soil: Acidic or neutral clay, loam, or sand that provides good drainage

For more information, see our article How to Grow Camellias.

Chinese Lantern (Physalis alkekengi)

Chinese lantern plants are named for the pretty orange lantern-like seed pods that appear at the beginning of fall. These are perennial plants that you can count on to return every year once they are well established.

Growing Zones: 3 through 9

Mature Size: 1 to 2 feet tall by 1 to 2 feet wide

Sun: Full sun to partial shade

Soil: Average soil that drains well and is moderately moist

For more information, see our article How to Grow Chinese Lantern Flower (Physalis alkekengi.

growing columbine flower

Columbine (Aquilegia)

The different varieties of columbine flourish best in slightly different climates, so check into which will grow best in your region. The fancy blossoms come in shades of blue, pink, purple, orange, red, yellow, and white. Columbine seeds need three or four weeks of cold before they will sprout, so if the temperature doesn’t cooperate, you may need to put them in the refrigerator for a few weeks.

Growing Zones: 3 through 8

Mature Size: 1 to 3 feet tall by 1 to 2 feet wide

Sun: Full or partial sun

Soil: Sandy or loamy soil that is moist but provides good drainage

For more information, see our article How to Grow Columbine Flowers.

growing coral bells

Coral Bells (Heuchera)

Coral bells is a perennial, so you can enjoy the distinctive foliage and pretty summer blooms year after year. You can find varieties of different foliage colors, from green to purple, and blooms in hues of coral, orange, pink, red, or white.

Growing Zones: 4 through 9

Mature Size: 8 to 18 inches tall by 12 to 24 inches wide

Sun: Full sun or partial shade

Soil: Moist soil that drains well, with acidic to neutral pH level

For more information, see our article How to Grow Coral Bells (Alum Root, Heuchera).

Daffodil (Narcissus)

Daffodil’s cheerful blooms are one of the first plants to greet the spring season. Nestle the little bulbs around the bottom of your cedar trees and enjoy the cuplike blooms, which make excellent cut flowers for arranging. White and yellow are most common, but you can also find daffodils in shades of orange, pink, or red.

Growing Zones: 3 through 8

Mature Size: 6 to 30 inches tall by 6 inches to 1 foot wide

Sun: Full sun or partial shade

Soil: Moist soil rich in organic material that offers plenty of drainage

For more information, see our article How to Plant Daffodils.

planting forsythia

Forsythia

If you’re lucky enough to live in one of the zones where forsythia thrives, you can grow this spectacular dose of sunshine under your cedar trees. The shrubs explode into sunshiny color in the spring.

Growing Zones: 5 through 9

Mature Size: 2 to 10 feet tall by 2 to 10 feet wide

Sun: Full sun or partial shade

Soil: Moist soil with plenty of drainage, with a neutral or acidic pH level

For more information, see our article How to Grow Forsythia.

Foxglove (Digitalis ambigua)

Foxglove sends up spires of bell-shaped flowers in shades of pink, purple, red, white, and yellow. The blooms appear in late spring or early summer, depending on your region. Be aware that foxglove is poisonous to animals and humans, so don’t grow it in gardens where pets or children play.

Growing Zones:  4 through 10

Mature Size: 18 inches to 5 feet tall by 12 to 18 inches wide

Sun: Full or partial sun

Soil: Loamy soil that offers plenty of drainage and has a pH level between 5.5. and 6.5

For more information, see our article How to Grow Foxglove (Digitalis).

growing hellebore

Hellebore (Helleborus orientalis)

Hellebore has lovely old-fashioned blooms in a green so pale it is almost cream, a dusky burgundy, or a purple so deep it is almost black. These plants also go by the name Lenten rose or Christmas rose.

Growing Zones: 6 through 9

Mature Size: 1 to 2 feet tall by 1 to 2 feet wide

Sun: Needs shade in summer and sun in winter

Soil: Moist soil that offers plenty of drainage and has a neutral or acidic pH level

For more information, see our article How to Grow Hellebores Flowers.

Honeysuckle (Lonicera)

Honeysuckle awakens nostalgic childhood memories of sipping the sweetness at the base of the blossoms, if you were lucky enough to grow up near one of these vines. Pass the experience along to your own children, or enjoy it again on your own, by adding a honeysuckle vine to the base of your cedar tree.

Growing Zones: 5 through 9

Mature Size: Vines grow to lengths between 15 and 30 feet

Sun: Prefers full sun but will tolerate some shade

Soil: Soil rich in organic material that provides excellent drainage; honeysuckles grow best in soil with a pH level between 5.5 and 8.0

For more information, see our article How to Grow Honeysuckle.

growing hosta

Hosta

Hostas are vigorously growing plants that will multiply underground from year to year. Choose a green variety for the glossy, large leaves, or look for a variegated variety to add a touch of color.

Growing Zones: 3 through 9

Mature Size: Lots of variation between different plant varieties; from 2 inches tall to 5 feet tall

Sun: Most hostas grow in shade, but the yellow varieties can tolerate up to 2 hours of sunshine each day

Soil: Soil rich in organic material that offers plenty of drainage, with a pH level between 6.5 and 7.5

For more information, see our article How to Grow, Plant, and Care for Hostas.

Ice Plant (Delosperma cooperi)

Ice plant is a hearty little plant that doesn’t require a lot of time and attention from the gardener. These succulents are sometimes called stone plant because they’re as easy to care for as a stone. In most climates, you can leave the plants to nature’s devices once they are well established, and they’ll grow and multiply. The pretty blossoms come in shades of orange, pink, purple, red, or yellow, with some varieties having two or three colors combined.

Growing Zones: 5 through 9

Mature Size: 3 to 6 inches tall by 1 to 2 feet wide

Sun: Full sun

Soil: Dry, sandy soil that offers plenty of drainage

For more information, see our article How to Grow Ice Plant Flowers (Delosperma cooperi).

planting lily of the valley

Lily of the Valley (Convallaria majalis)

Lily of the valley produces delicate cascades of bell-shaped flowers in the springtime. The plant makes an excellent groundcover that isn’t as fussy as you may think due to its delicate nature. Lily of the valley is prized for its ability to grow and multiply quickly. In addition to springtime blooms, the plants add fall interest with orange-red berries.

Growing Zones: 3 through 9

Mature Size: 6 inches to 1 foot tall by 9 inches to 1 foot wide

Sun: Full sun or partial sun

Soil: Soil rich in organic material that offers plenty of drainage, with an acidic or neutral pH level

For more information, see our article How to Grow Lily of the Valley Flowers.

Lungwort (Pulmonaria)

Lungwort is a pretty perennial flower that springs up ready to bloom while other plants are still shaking off the cold of the winter season. You can rely on lungwort for spring blooms in blue, pink, and white.

Growing Zones: 3 through 8

Mature Size: 6 inches to 1 foot tall by 12 to 18 inches wide

Sun: Full or partial sun

Soil: Moist soil that offers good drainage; pH level may be acidic, neutral, or alkaline

For more information, see our article How to Grow Pulmonaria (Lungwort) Flowers.

planting under cedar trees sedum

Stonecrop (Sedum)

Stonecrop got its name by being ridiculously easy to care for. There are so many different varieties of sedum to choose from, each with different foliage, blossoms, and mature size. Sedum creates a spreading groundcover that will burst into bloom in summer or fall, with hues of pink, red, white, or yellow.

Growing Zones: 3 through 11

Mature Size: 6 inches to 2 feet tall by 1 to 2 feet wide

Sun: Full or partial sunshine

Soil: Sandy or loamy soil that offers good drainage and has an acidic or neutral pH level

For more information, see our article How to Grow Sedum.

With 18 different plants to choose from to grow beneath your cedar trees, we know you’ll love at least one of the options presented here.

Learn More About Planting Under Cedar Trees

https://forums.botanicalgarden.ubc.ca/threads/what-to-plant-under-cedar-trees.13156/

https://www.gardenguides.com/91772-plants-can-grow-under-cedar-trees.html

https://homeguides.sfgate.com/perennials-can-planted-under-cedar-trees-46026.html

https://homeguides.sfgate.com/plants-can-live-under-cedar-tree-51475.html

cedar trees with text overlay landscaping tips Planting Under Cedar Trees, 18 Ideas

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