May 22

Best Flowers To Plant Under A Tree



One of the best parts about owning a home with a gorgeous outdoor space is that you can create whatever you want. So many people love to create little gardens around their plants and trees. However, not all plants and trees get along all that well.

Sometimes, they will fight with each other, strangle each other, or just not work well together. Certain plants and trees draw in animals that will eat the other plants around them. Sometimes, a plant or tree will disturb the natural levels in the soil, killing the other plantlife.

Careful planning is important when planting a garden. If you have trees and you want to add some plants, start with these that will play nicely with most trees:


Credit: Tony Buser
  • Extremely hardy to all types of soils and debris
  • Thrive in areas where there is a lot of shade
  • You can train them into different shapes to fit with your needs

Hostas are a plant that won’t need a lot of love in order for them to thrive. They are hardy greenery that will thrive in different types of soils, light, and formations. You can train them into specific shapes, move them easily, and they don’t need that much water, according to The Old Farmer’s Almanac.

Most of the year, they are beautiful green plants. Then, you will see shoots come out of the ground with light purple flowers that have a faint smell. If you have many of these plants, you will smell them when the wind blows.

The only reason hostas won’t work in your yard is if you have deer around your home. They are a favorite food of the local population.

Bleeding Heart

  • Bluish green foliage gives way to brilliant pink flowers
  • Bleeding hearts require regular watering
  • Grow really well in dark, shady areas

It can be difficult to find bright flowers that will grow in shady areas, but bleeding hearts will grow in the shade. These are the most beautiful, interesting plants that you can get. The flowers are shaped like hearts and a white drop pulls them down.

They make a good plant for anyone who doesn’t have a lot of experience with growing plants because they are so hardy.

According to Gardening Know How, “An herbaceous perennial, the bleeding heart plant dies back to the ground as the heat of summer arrives. As the bleeding heart plant begins to yellow and wither away, foliage may be cut back to the ground as a part of care for bleeding heart. Do not remove the foliage before it turns yellow or brown; this is the time when your bleeding heart plant is storing food reserves for next year’s growing bleeding hearts.”

Merry Bells

Credit: Liam Moloney
  • There are a few different varieties that will grow in different colors
  • Can grow somewhere between 1-3 feet, depending on the type
  • Will grow in shade but tends to grow towards the light

Merrybells are absolutely gorgeous flowers that require a bit more care than some of the other plants on this list. Even so, beginners can grow them successfully with a little bit of work.

This plant will grow in shade, but the flower moves toward the sunlight. In a garden with a tree, you will see them sticking up at different angles, which helps to add texture and beauty to a garden. According to, these plants will spread over the years, so be careful to remove them as young plants if you do not want them outside of designated areas.


Credit: slgckgc
  • There are 400-500 species of violets
  • The blue violet is the most common variety in the United States
  • These will grow best in dappled sunshine

If you have trees that don’t have foliage that is too thick, violets are a great option for your yard. They spread easily to cover a lot of ground, add pops of unmistakable color, and are pretty hardy. You will need to expose them to some sunlight, but they don’t need full sun (at least most varieties don’t, make sure to check before you buy.)

Violets work best in soil that is kept damp and they will thrive when there is a rainy spring. If you use a soaker hose to keep your gardens damp, this is a great option for you.

According to The Flower Expert, “The Ancient Greeks considered the Violet a symbol of fertility and love; they used it in love potions. Pliny recommended that a garland of violets be worn above the head to ward off headaches and dizzy spells.”


  • One of the earliest plants to bloom in the springtime
  • You need to plant the bulbs in the fall for spring growth
  • Extremely easy to take care of

Daffodils are some of the easiest plants to take care of – people will get them in their yards and they didn’t even want them. They grow in the wild and can be extremely hardy. If you want plants that will grow quickly and do stay around for a few weeks, daffodils are it. They won’t last all summer, but they are great for that initial burst of color.

According to, most people who want to plant daffodils to fill in space under trees will actually plant hundreds of bulbs. You may need to do some maintenance for these plants if you plant that many – including staking the stems so that they stand up in bad weather.

Contact Menchhofer Tree Care for all of your tree care needs – we can help you at any stage of the tree process, from planting and taking care of your tree to pruning and cutting it down – and of course, any seasonal problems that you might have with your trees. If you are having trouble making decisions about how to best care for your tree, we are here to help. Remember that acting sooner rather than later will help you to get the most out of your trees and keep your home safe.

Call us today at 317-661-4240.

Header photo courtesy of John on Flickr!

Menchhofer Tree Care

About Steve Menchhofer

Steve Menchhofer has been caring for the trees of the Indianapolis, Indiana metro area for over 40 years. Steve and his team of experienced, certified arborists are members of the International Society of Arboriculture and the Indiana Arborist Association.

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