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How to Get Grass (And Other Plants) to Grow Under Your Evergreen Trees

How to Get Grass (And Other Plants) to Grow Under Your Evergreen Trees

For those of you with a plethora of evergreen trees in your landscaping, you may be struggling with growing anything underneath them. We are going to be sharing our top tips and tricks for changing that and transforming the space below your evergreens.

There are actually a few different reasons that nothing likes to grow under these types of trees, which we will discuss first. Then we will talk about how you can change that for your landscaping.

Why Doesn’t Anything Grow Under Evergreen Trees?

So why is it so hard to get grass or other plants growing under your pine trees? There are actually several reasons that it’s such a pain.

For one thing, your evergreens are extremely dense trees, meaning that they don’t let in a lot of extra sunlight. This limits what is going to thrive underneath them. Also, the soil around these trees is very acidic, which is also fairly limiting.

Underneath your pine trees, there is an intense competition for water too. The trees are going to try and suck up any and all moisture that makes it to its roots.

Lastly, pine trees drop hundreds and hundreds of pine needles on the ground around them. This creates a heavy blanket that limits the sunlight and water considerably, making it harder for any grass/plants to grow.

Because of all of these reasons, most professionals are going to recommend avoiding any planting in these areas. However, some have still had some luck with it, and if you are determined to try there are some steps you can take to make it a little easier on yourself.

Tips for Growing Grass Under Evergreen Trees

If your plan is to grow grass underneath your evergreen trees, you will need to take these following steps to make it as easy as possible for it to grow.

First you will want to clean out the area of any ground you want grass to grow on. Because of the heavy blanket of needles, it will be hard for grass to grow through them unless they are cleared out. Also remove any additional debris to expose the soil to moisture and sunlight. As you attempt to grow the grass, make sure that you keep the area clear and watered as much as possible.

Once you have a cleared out area for growing grass, it’s time to till the soil down about 5-6 inches. Make sure you take the tree roots into account however, don’t dig down enough to touch and damage them. Do this gently, preferably with your own hands rather than any hard tools.

Like we said before, the soil under your evergreen trees are typically going to be pretty acidic. If you are planning on growing grass beneath them, you should test the soil and apply lime to it as needed to raise the pH and decrease the acidity. Grass is best when it’s growing in a pH of 5.5-6.5.

You should also remove some of the lower tree limbs, as well as prune the thinner upper limbs to increase any available sunlight coming through.

Growing grass under evergreen trees is a fairly difficult task, and it will require you to pay a lot of attention to the area. It may take up to 2 years to have the ideal effect once you start attempting to balance the pH of the soil.

Tips for Growing Plants Under Evergreen Trees

If you would prefer to have other plants and flowers growing under your pine trees, we have some tips for that as well.

Some plants are not going to be able to adjust to the difficult conditions under evergreen trees, so we will be sharing some of the ideal options for that area. For the best results, give your soil around a year to balance the pH before planting anything.

Not sure what to plant? Some plants that will do fairly well under evergreen trees include Azaleas , Woodland Sunflowers , Hostas , Jacob’s Ladder , Lily of the Valley , and Ivory Sedge .

Happy Planting

No matter what you want to plant underneath your evergreen trees, these tips will ensure that it is a little easier on you.

What are you planning on growing underneath your pine trees?

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