black walnut companion plants

Black walnut trees are an attractive addition to any landscape, but they can also be difficult to work with in terms of companion planting. Fortunately, there are a number of plants that do well in the presence of black walnut, making it easier for gardeners to create a beautiful and functional space. Here, we will explore the best black walnut companion plants and how they can help create a thriving landscape.The best companion plants for black walnut trees are those that are tolerant of juglone, the chemical found in walnut tree roots and leaves that can be toxic to other plants. These include: species of ferns, grasses, shrubs and trees such as pine, maple, hickory and honey locust; wildflowers like columbine, violets and daisies; herbs like sage, thyme and oregano; vegetables like asparagus and potatoes; and fruits such as apples and pears. When selecting companion plants for your black walnut tree make sure to read the plant labels carefully to determine if they are tolerant of juglone.

What Types of Plants Do Well With Black Walnuts?

Black walnut trees produce a toxin called juglone, which is found in all parts of the tree including leaves, nut hulls, and roots. Plants that do well with black walnuts are those that are tolerant of or resistant to the toxic effects of juglone. Some examples of plants that can tolerate or resist juglone include: irises, asters, daisies, yews, boxwood, peonies, ferns, bee balm and daylilies.

It is important to note that some plants may be more tolerant than others so it is important to research each species carefully before planting near a black walnut tree. In general, plants with waxy cuticles on their leaves are more likely to be tolerant of juglone than those without such protection. Additionally, some species may need to be planted further away from the black walnut tree than others in order to remain healthy and thrive.

In addition to these naturally juglone-resistant plants, there are also several other methods for protecting plants from the toxic effects of a black walnut tree. Planting in raised beds or containers can help keep the roots away from the toxic soil on which the black walnut tree grows. Adding organic matter such as compost or mulch can also help reduce the amount of juglone in the soil and increase its ability to support plant growth. Finally, removing fallen leaves and nut hulls regularly can help reduce the amount of juglone that has built up around the base of the black walnut tree.

Plants Resistant to Black Walnut Toxicity

Black walnut toxicity is a common issue in many gardens. The presence of the toxic substance juglone, which is released from the roots and leaves of black walnut trees, can cause issues for many plants. However, there are some varieties of plants that are resistant to the toxicity and can thrive in areas where black walnuts are present.

One such plant is the yucca plant, which is known for its long, sword-like leaves and beautiful white flowers. Yuccas are strong and hardy plants that can survive in many different climates and conditions, making them ideal for gardens where black walnuts may be present.

Holly bushes are also resistant to black walnut toxicity, as they have a special adaptation that helps them survive in these conditions. Holly bushes tend to be evergreen shrubs with sharp leaves and bright red berries during certain times of year. They can make a great addition to any garden where black walnuts may be present.

Another option for those looking for plants that can live near black walnuts is the bee balm plant. This attractive flower comes in many colors such as pink, purple, white, red and yellow. It’s easy to grow and makes an excellent addition to any garden or landscape design. It also has natural insect-repelling qualities which makes it even more appealing in areas where black walnuts may be present.

Finally, daylilies are another option for those looking for plants that can survive near black walnuts without succumbing to the toxicity of juglone. Daylilies come in a variety of colors and sizes and have long been popular additions to gardens throughout the world. They are known for their hardiness and ability to thrive even when exposed to juglone from nearby black walnut trees.

Overall, there are many options available when it comes to finding plants that can survive near black walnuts without being affected by their toxic properties. Yucca plants, holly bushes, bee balm plants and daylilies all make excellent choices for those who want a beautiful garden even when black walnuts may be present nearby.

Choosing Companions for Black Walnut Trees

Black walnut trees are beautiful additions to any landscape, but it’s important to choose the right companion plants to ensure that they thrive. When choosing companions, it’s important to consider the size and growth rate of the tree, as well as its light and water requirements. It’s also essential to pay attention to the soil type, as well as any potential pests or diseases that may affect the tree. Here are some tips on how to choose companion plants for black walnut trees.

The first thing you should consider when selecting companion plants for black walnut trees is their size and growth rate. Since most black walnuts grow slowly, it’s best to choose smaller plants that won’t overtake the tree. Shrubs and perennials are good choices, as they will provide some shade while not competing with the tree for resources. Additionally, look for plants that require similar amounts of light and water as black walnuts do; this will help ensure that each plant gets enough resources without competing with one another.

Another important consideration is soil type. Black walnuts prefer a slightly acidic soil with adequate drainage, so make sure any companion plants you select will thrive in this type of environment. Also look out for potential pests and diseases that may affect the health of your tree; certain companion plants can act as natural repellents or attract beneficial insects such as pollinators or predatory insects that can help keep pests in check.

Finally, it’s essential to think about how your chosen companion plants will affect the aesthetics of your landscape. Certain combinations of flowers and foliage can create a stunning display year-round, while others may not be quite so pleasing on the eye. Take some time to research different options before making a decision – there are plenty of stunning plant combinations out there!

By following these tips on how to choose companions for black walnut trees, you can ensure your landscape is both beautiful and healthy!

Avoiding Planting Near Black Walnut Trees

Black walnut trees are beautiful and majestic, but they can also be damaging to other plants that grow near them. The roots of black walnut trees secrete a substance called juglone, which is toxic to many other plants. This means that if you plan on planting in an area near a black walnut tree, you need to take special precautions. Here are some tips for avoiding planting near black walnut trees.

First, it’s important to identify the location of the black walnut tree’s roots. These can travel far underground away from the trunk, so you should use caution when planting in the vicinity of the tree. It’s best to keep any other plants at least 50 feet away from the tree, as this will ensure that juglone doesn’t affect them.

Second, it’s important to choose plants that are tolerant of juglone. Some plant species are better able to resist the effects of juglone than others, so if you want to plant in an area near a black walnut tree, make sure to select varieties that are known for their resistance. Some examples include daylilies, cornus (dogwood), foxglove, peonies, and yarrow.

Finally, it’s also important to take steps for protecting existing plants from juglone damage. If you already have established plants in your yard and you suspect they may be affected by juglone from a nearby black walnut tree, there are some ways you can reduce its effects. You can create a raised bed or use mulch around existing plants to help buffer their exposure to juglone from the tree roots.

By following these tips for avoiding planting near black walnut trees and taking steps for protecting existing plants from its effects, you can ensure your garden is safe and healthy despite living near these majestic trees!

Benefits of Planting Companions With Black Walnut Trees

Planting companions with black walnut trees can provide a number of benefits. These benefits include improving the health of the tree, reducing the risk of disease and pest infestations, and providing an attractive aesthetic to the landscape. By planting companion plants, you can ensure that your black walnut tree has access to proper air circulation and sunlight which are necessary for healthy growth. Additionally, companion plants can help to reduce competition for resources such as water, nutrients, and space.

The right companion plants for black walnut trees will also help to reduce the risk of disease and pest infestations. This is because certain types of companion plants may act as a trap crop or attract insects that prey on destructive pests such as aphids or spider mites. Additionally, some companion plants may act as hosts to beneficial predators which can help keep pest populations in check.

Lastly, planting companions with black walnut trees can add an aesthetically pleasing element to your landscape. Choosing plants that flower or have interesting foliage can add color and texture to your garden while providing valuable habitat for pollinators such as bees or butterflies. Furthermore, planting companion species with your black walnut tree can create a natural habitat that is beneficial for both wildlife and humans alike.

Planting Nearby Black Walnuts: Considerations and Tips

When planting black walnuts, there are a few considerations and tips to keep in mind. First, it is important to consider the spacing between each tree. Generally, trees should be spaced at least 40 feet apart. This will allow for sufficient light and airflow, so that the trees have adequate growing space. Additionally, it is important to select a site with well-drained soil and adequate sunlight.

It is also important to consider what types of plants you want to grow near your black walnut trees. Some plants are more tolerant of the toxic juglone that is released by the tree’s roots than others. This includes varieties of tomatoes, peppers, blueberries, and raspberries. On the other hand, certain plants such as azaleas and lilacs may not do well in close proximity to black walnuts due to their sensitivity to juglone.

When planting black walnuts, it is also important to select a variety that is adapted to your local climate and environment. Different varieties may have different levels of resistance or susceptibility to disease or pests, which can affect their longevity and overall health. Additionally, some varieties may have higher yields than others depending on the region they are grown in.

Finally, when planting black walnuts it is important to provide regular care throughout the year. This includes fertilizing with an organic fertilizer once every few months during the growing season as well as pruning dead or diseased branches throughout the year. Additionally, weeds should be controlled in order for the tree’s roots to get adequate light and air circulation without competition from other plants. With proper care and maintenance, black walnuts can provide a delicious harvest for years to come!

Not All Plants Work As Companion For Black Walnuts

Many plants are not suitable for use as companion plants for black walnuts due to the high levels of juglone or allelochemical produced by the walnuts. These chemicals can be toxic to some types of plants, and they can stunt the growth of other types. Especially sensitive are tomato, potato, cabbage, and eggplant, all of which should not be planted near black walnuts.

Certain plants have been found to be more tolerant of the juglone and allelochemicals produced by black walnuts. These include garlic, rhubarb, and horseradish. These plants are able to produce enough allelochemicals of their own that they can resist the effects of the walnut’s chemicals. Other tolerant species include trees such as maples, oaks, pines, and junipers as well as shrubs such as rhododendrons and azaleas.

In short, not all plants will work as companion plants for black walnuts due to their high levels of juglone or allelochemicals. Certain species are more tolerant than others and can thrive in the presence of these compounds while others may suffer if planted too close to a black walnut tree.


Black walnut trees are a great addition to any garden or landscape, and they can be easily integrated into your garden plan with the right companion plants. By selecting the right plants for the area, you can ensure that you have a healthy and thriving black walnut tree in your yard. Selecting companion plants that are tolerant of the juglone toxin released by black walnuts is important, as well as selecting plants that will offer shade and protection for the tree. The companions should also provide additional benefits such as attracting pollinators, providing a food source for local wildlife, or offering a pleasing aesthetic to your landscape. With careful selection and consideration of these factors, you can enjoy a beautiful and functional black walnut tree in your yard for many years to come.

When planting companion plants for your black walnut tree, it is important to research carefully to ensure that the selected companion plant is appropriate for your area and suited for growing alongside a black walnut tree. Taking time to consider the available options will ensure that you have an attractive garden that will thrive in harmony with its black walnut companion.