The larger the walnut tree, the more shade it provides. However, many plants cannot stand the constant darkness under the big tree. In addition, the walnut secretes a substance from the leaves for its own protection, which prevents the formation of weeds. Plants that have been specially grown under the tree can be affected. The following article explains how you can underplant a walnut tree and what other options there are.

Soil texture – walnut

The condition of the soil under a walnut tree is very special. Because with the messenger substance juglone, which has a germ-inhibiting effect, the tree tries to protect itself. This messenger substance is given off by the leaves, when these fall to the ground, the substance gets into the ground. Here it works primarily against weed formation, but the plants cultivated here can also be affected. Furthermore, the following should be noted about the nature of the soil around the walnut:

  • Roots release inhibitors
  • are supposed to slow down growth
  • they are inhibitors and tannins
  • Soil can become acidic from matter from leaves
  • ideal for perennials from the azalea family
  • Grass growth, on the other hand, is prevented
Note: the bigger a walnut tree, the more water it needs. He pulls the water out of the ground. However, this also means that water is withdrawn from the underplanted plants. So that these do not dry out, they have to be poured regularly, ideally directly onto the roots of the plants.

The texture of the substrate under the walnut can be improved by not leaving the fallen leaves lying around but by collecting and disposing of them immediately. So that the growth-inhibiting substances do not get into the entire garden, you should not put the walnut leaves on the compost, but dispose of them in the residual waste.

Plants for shade

If plants are to be cultivated under the walnut tree, then not only the nature of the soil is a problem here. The larger the tree, the more shady and dark it becomes. Not many plants like it so dark, so only those can be planted here that can cope with a shady and dark place. You should also pay attention to whether half or full shade is desired for the selected plants, accordingly these plants can be placed on the outside or further in the middle. The shade plants are as follows:

  • Wood anemone, blooms in spring
  • Flower not affected by shade from dense leaves
  • Bergenia, is also planted under street trees
  • Ferns, ideally worm fern or ostrich fern
  • Hostas are very shade-loving
  • ideally cultivate in a tub
  • Evergreen, good ground cover
  • Hydrangeas in partial shade on the edge
  • Rhododendron also in partial shade
  • in spring daffodils, tulips crocuses

But there are many more plants that are suitable for planting under the walnut tree due to their good shade tolerance. This also includes fuchsia, lemon balm, vetches, begonias as well as early bloomers such as primroses and others.

Note: Early onion flowers usually bloom so early in the year that there is still enough light under the walnut at this time because the tree has not yet sprouted. However, in the case of cultivation of bulb flowers, no leaves should remain under the tree over the winter because of the released juglone.

Put potted plants under

However, if the soil under the walnut causes problems for the selected shade plants, if they do not grow properly or if they shrink completely, then the plants can also be cultivated in pots and placed around the walnut tree. In addition to the optical aspect, this also has the advantage that the plants can be placed in the right light conditions if necessary and always have the right substrate in the tub. The following should be used for planting under the pots:

  • choose beautiful buckets made of clay
  • Plant desired crops
  • all plants are suitable for partial and full shade
  • Arrange the tubs decoratively
  • Always collect fallen walnut leaves
  • Replace the substrate in the bucket regularly
Tip: A walnut tree is often reported to hold back mosquitos and flies. Therefore, planting this near a patio is a wise decision. Here the walnut can also provide shade.

You can grow far more plants under a walnut tree than you thought. If the plants cannot cope with the soil conditions under the tree, you can also cultivate them in a tub and find a place under the walnut if they can tolerate the shade well. Otherwise, the area under the walnut tree is also well suited for all early-flowering plants to plant under, as these have already faded when the tree sprouts its large, shady leaves.

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