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9 Gorgeous Plants That Grow Well Under Pine Trees

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Got some pine trees in your yard, and don’t exactly know what will or won’t grow underneath? Here’s a quick list of plants that grow well under pine trees.

Plants that grow well under pine trees

Finding plants that do well under pine trees can be a bit more difficult because you need to find ones that don’t need a ton of sunlight and can do well with the type of soil surrounding the base of the pine trees.

If you want to have plants surrounding the pine tree trunk, here are some options of plants that can grow under pine trees.

Plants That Grow Well Under Pine Trees

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Lily of the Valley Flower Seeds
  • Essential for any garden
  • Germination rate: 73%
  • Spreads under your pine trees
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Lily of the Valley Hardy Perennial Plants Pips Bulbs with Roots
  • Creates a lush, deliciously scented carpet
  • Sweet smelling fragrant flowers bloom in early summer
  • Most popular
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Pink Lily Of The Valley Convallaria rosea
  • Deliciously scented carpet
  • Essential for any garden
  • Spreads under your pine trees
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Massachusetts Bearberry Plant
  • Does well when planted near or around pine trees
  • Best growth potential
  • Also grows well in partial shade
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In order to have the best chance of plants surviving and growing under your pine tree, you need to find acidic plants that can thrive in shade and also a drier soil as well.

Perennial flowers that love acid soil

Here are some perennials that tend to be a good choice to use under pine trees. These plants love the acid soil and the shade and filtered sunlight the trees provide.

1. Columbines

Seeds4planting - Seeds Columbine Aquilegia Mix - Organic

Gorgeous flowers that aren’t fussy, columbines thrive under pine trees. Hummingbirds love them, and deer and rabbits will avoid them. Perfect!

2. Rhododendron

Pink rhododendron buds

Rhododendrons come in so many colors! plant a bunch of them in the same color, or mix and match for a showy look.

3. Lily of the valley

Beautiful white lily of the valley flowers

These delicate flowers will spread under your pine trees, creating a lush, deliciously scented carpet. While lily of the valley is the most popular, but you can add some of the more rare ones that come in pink, red, yellow, or orange.

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4. Wild geraniums (cranesbill)

Pretty purple wild geraniums growing under a pine tree

Wild geraniums, also known as cranesbill, thrive under pine trees. Once established they need very little care and will bring joy with their pretty blooms.

5. Jacobs ladder

Jacob's ladder flowers

Jacobs ladder needs to be grown in a partial-shade or shady area, out of direct sunlight. Once the roots take hold in the soil, this plant can actually grow anywhere up to 3 feet high.

It does well in a variety of types of soils and tends to not be affected by local wildlife either. After planting, there isn’t a lot of maintenance that needs to happen except for the occasional trim here and there.

6. Sweet woodruff

Closeup of woodruff white flowers in spring (Waldmeister - Gallium odoratum)

Spreading by runners, Sweet Woodruff makes a beautiful ground cover around the base of pine trees. Their leaves also give off a sweet scent, making them quite pleasant to sniff.

Once planted, there is minimal work on your part that has to be done. They are one of the easier plants that tend to take care of themselves quite well.

7. Hydrangeas

Blue hydrangea under pine tree

Hydrangeas will turn gorgeous colors of blue when planted in acidic soil. As long as there’s some sunshine filtering through your pine trees, they’d make a great perennial for under your trees.

Ground covers for acidic soil

Sometimes, the best way to deal with a problem area in your garden is to find a ground cover that will work in that spot.

8. Creeping phlox

2 shades of creeping phlox

Creeping phlox comes in many shades of pink and purple and spreads easily. Beautiful color in the spring, and then green the rest of the year.

9. Bearberry plants

Bearberry plant with fruits

Technically a small shrub, bearberry plants tend to do well when planted near or around pine trees.

For its best growth potential, full sun is preferred but this plant can also grow well in partial shade, too.

Bearberry plants do not do well in hot climates, and will actually attract quite a bit of wildlife due to its growth of berries.

If you are searching for plants that grow well under pine trees, the options listed above should work quite well!

Remember that your local greenhouse can give you help with plants that grow in your area. Don’t hesitate to enlist their help if you have questions.

Start by planting one option and see how it does. If it takes and really starts to grow, then you won’t have to worry about planting any more!

Collage of flowers that grow well under pine trees: rhododendron, wild geraniums, Jacobs ladder, and sweet woodruf

Collage of flowers that grow well under pine trees: pink rhododendron, purple wild geraniums, lavender Jacobs ladder, and white sweet woodruff

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Lynne M Mack

Friday 2nd of October 2020

Hi, I found your site very informative. I was wondering if there is a particular species of Rhodi that I should be planting under my pine trees? Thank you for your help.


Friday 2nd of October 2020

Not that I know of: all of them work well in that environment. Just pick your favorites.


Saturday 27th of June 2020

Do all these plants spread so I don't have to buy too many?


Sunday 28th of June 2020

Some, like the lily of the valley, will multiply on their own. Others, like the hydrangeas, you can multiply by cuttings. So, once you make your initial investment, you can definitely propagate without spending any more money.

11 Shade Loving Plants You'll Love

Thursday 17th of October 2019

[…] Periwinkle plants form a dense mat, growing about 6 inches tall and 1.5 feet wide. The small evergreen, oval foliage is shiny and green. In late spring through early fall, showy phlox-like, blue-lavender blooms cover the plant. It’s a reliable bloomer to introduce to shady garden sites. […]

Merri Ann Elliott

Monday 13th of May 2019

I have hostas planted under my cedar trees.....the first 2 or 3 years they grew well, but the last 2 years all of my plants there have not grown as large....what can I add to the soil to help??


Tuesday 19th of March 2019

Thanks so much for this list. It is a great start and soon I will have a beautiful garden under that dreaded pine tree.