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9 Gorgeous Plants That Grow Well Under Pine Trees

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

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 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!

Want some columbines? Plant roots for faster growth.

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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Adriana Copaceanu is a passionate nature lover living in the country on her dream property where she grows vegetables, lavender, and wildflowers that she shares with the wildlife they attract. When she's not in the garden, she loves spending time with her chickens and planning her next nature project. Check out her books below:

How to Grow Lavender for Fun and Profit: Lessons Learned from Planting Three Hundred Lavender Plants

How to Raise Chickens for Eggs: A Guide to Raising Happy, Healthy Chickens for Nutritious, Organic Eggs at Home

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Tuesday 7th of March 2023

Please do not recommend Lily if the Valley it is far to invasive . Big destroyer of native areas….


Tuesday 9th of April 2024

@Adriana, Same experience for me. The lilly of the valley held it's own under the pine, but did not spread very fast or far. It's a good choice.


Friday 10th of March 2023

you need ot do your homework for your area. I planted some over 20 years ago and they hardly tripled.


Tuesday 14th of June 2022


k j

Friday 29th of July 2022

@Nora, I have morning glories growing close to a pine tree. We have ivy and honeysuckle growing close to that pine tree too. Whatever is near the tree, make sure you water it well until it gets established and when it's dry...that tree is going to drink up most of the rainfall.

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Friday 22nd of April 2022

[…] how to grow garlic. And guess what? Garlic is one of the plants that can grow well under pine trees, so use up the space if you happen dot have these in your […]


Saturday 26th of March 2022

Lily of the valley is an invasive species in North America. If it escapes to natural areas it outcompetes native plants which reduces the health and biodiversity of the area. Please avoid Lily of the valley.


Saturday 7th of May 2022

@Adriana, I agree! We had Lily of the Valley growing for decades in one small area alongside our front porch (MI) and they never increased in amount or took over.


Sunday 27th of March 2022

Denis, it can be invasive in many areas, but not in others. I planted 25 pips 22 years ago in our front yard and still only have about 100 plants. Every gardener needs to do their homework and make sure what they plant on their property is not invasive in their area.

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Sunday 29th of August 2021

[…] 9 Gorgeous Plants That Grow Well Under Pine Trees […]