plants that grow under black walnut trees

Plants that grow under black walnut trees are a unique and interesting group of species. Many of these plants have adapted to the toxic conditions created by the trees’ juglone-producing roots and can thrive even in the shade of its large branches. In this article, we’ll look at some of the most common plants that grow under black walnut trees and discuss their cultivation requirements.Plants that grow under black walnut trees include English ivy, Virginia creeper, sweet woodruff, hollyleaf cherry, wild ginger, lily of the valley, Solomon’s seal, and false solomon’s seal. Other shade-tolerant species such as trilliums and ferns may also thrive in the filtered light beneath a black walnut tree.

Trees That Grow Under Black Walnut Trees

Black walnut trees are known for their deep roots and dense shade, making them difficult to grow under. However, there are several species of trees that can be grown in these conditions with success. These include the red maple, white ash, hackberry, white oak, American elm, and honey locust. All of these trees have strong root systems that can penetrate the hard soils beneath a black walnut tree and thrive in the filtered light. Many of these species are also very resilient to disease and insect pests that may be present in a shady area.

In addition to the trees listed above, there are also several smaller ornamental shrubs that can be grown beneath a black walnut tree including dogwood, viburnum, forsythia, yew, and holly. These plants will not only add color to the landscape but will also provide food and shelter for birds and other wildlife. It is important to remember when planting underneath a black walnut tree to allow enough space between plants so they do not become crowded or compete for resources such as water or sunlight.

When planting any of the species mentioned above under a black walnut tree it is important to remember that they may need extra attention due to their limited access to sunlight and nutrients. They may need more frequent watering during dry periods as well as additional fertilizing throughout the growing season in order to remain healthy. With proper care and maintenance however these plants can thrive even beneath a large black walnut tree.

Soil Conditions For Planting Under Black Walnut Trees

Growing plants under black walnut trees can be a challenge, as the tree produces a chemical that inhibits the growth of many plants. To create successful gardens beneath walnuts, it is important to understand how the soil conditions affect plant growth. The presence of juglone in the soil, along with other characteristics of the soil, can determine which plants are successful and which will struggle.

Juglone is a natural substance produced by black walnut trees that can inhibit or prevent the growth of other plants. It is present in all parts of the tree and can be found in concentrations up to fifty feet away from the trunk. This means that even if a garden is not directly beneath the branches, juglone can still affect its health. Therefore, it is important for gardeners to consider soil conditions when planting beneath walnuts.

The most important factor for successful gardening beneath walnuts is soil pH. Soil that is too alkaline will reduce juglone’s effectiveness and allow more plants to thrive. The ideal range for gardening under walnuts is 6-7 on the pH scale; anything lower or higher than this range can prevent some plants from thriving.

In addition to pH balance, gardeners should also consider factors such as sunlight exposure, drainage, and organic matter when planting near walnuts. Sunlight exposure will influence how much water and nutrients are available for plants, while drainage helps ensure that roots get enough oxygen and water at all times. Lastly, adding organic matter helps improve soils overall health by increasing nutrient availability and creating better drainage systems for roots.

By understanding how soil conditions affect plant growth near black walnut trees, gardeners can create healthy gardens filled with diverse plant life even in challenging environments like those beneath walnuts. With careful consideration of factors such as soil pH balance, sunlight exposure, drainage systems, and organic matter content gardeners can successfully grow beautiful gardens under these majestic trees.

Benefits of Planting Under Black Walnut Trees

Black walnut trees are a great addition to any landscape. They provide shade, beauty, and a valuable timber source. In addition to all these benefits, planting under black walnut trees can be beneficial for your garden as well.

Black walnut trees produce a chemical called juglone that can act as a natural herbicide and help keep weeds from encroaching on your garden. This chemical is not harmful to plants that are tolerant of it, such as tomatoes, beans, and squash. The juglone also discourages pests such as slugs and grubs from entering the garden, which helps protect your crops from damage.

The shade of a black walnut tree can also provide some protection for your plants from extreme temperatures. When the sun is at its hottest in the summertime, the tree’s canopy will provide some relief from the heat and allow your plants to thrive in more moderate temperatures.

Black walnuts also provide more nutrients for your soil than other trees because they drop their leaves throughout the year instead of all at once like other deciduous trees do. This means that their leaves break down slowly over time and release beneficial nutrients into the soil that help benefit your plants.

Finally, the deep roots of black walnut trees can reach into water sources below ground level and bring up moisture during dry periods when water is scarce. This means that you won’t have to water as often during times of drought because the tree will be able to provide some moisture for your plants even when you don’t have access to water sources above ground level.

Overall, there are many benefits of planting under black walnut trees that make them an ideal choice for any landscape or garden setting. Not only do they provide shade and beauty but they also have natural herbicides that keep pests away and help enrich the soil with beneficial nutrients. In addition, they provide moisture even during times of drought by reaching into underground water sources with their deep roots. With all these benefits combined, it’s easy to see why so many people choose to plant under black walnut trees in their yard or garden!

What to Avoid Planting Under Black Walnut Trees

Black walnut trees can be a beautiful addition to any landscape, but they can also be damaging to other plants. The black walnut tree is well-known for producing a compound called juglone, which is toxic to many plants. Therefore, it is important to be aware of what not to plant near a black walnut tree in order to keep your landscape healthy and thriving.

When planting near a black walnut tree, avoid vegetables such as tomatoes, potatoes, and peppers. Other plants like rhododendrons, azaleas, lilacs, mountain laurel, and yews are also sensitive to juglone and should not be planted nearby. Even certain grasses can suffer from the juglone produced by the black walnut tree. It is best to avoid planting grasses like Kentucky bluegrass within 50 feet of a black walnut tree because the juglone will likely stunt its growth or even kill it off completely.

In addition to avoiding the above plants and grasses, there are also several trees that should not be planted within 50 feet of a black walnut tree due to their sensitivity to juglone. These include butternut trees, hickory trees, white pine trees, Norway spruce trees, red pine trees, and mountain ash trees. Planting any of these species too close could result in stunted growth or death for these plants as well.

Fortunately, there are also several species that can tolerate the juglone produced by the black walnut tree with no problem. These include maple trees (except sugar maples), oak trees (except pin oaks), hackberry trees, sweet gum trees, ash trees (except mountain ash), magnolia trees (except cucumber magnolias), dogwoods (except pagoda dogwoods), pines (except white pines), and spruces (except Norway spruces). These species should thrive when planted near a black walnut tree if you make sure they are planted at least 50 feet away from it.

By being aware of what plants should not be planted near a black walnut tree as well as what species can tolerate its presence in order to make informed decisions about your landscaping plans will help ensure your landscape remains healthy and beautiful for years to come!

Companion Plants for Growing Under Black Walnut Trees

Growing companion plants under a black walnut tree can be a challenge, but with the right selection of plants it can be done. Black walnut trees produce a chemical compound called juglone that is toxic to some plants, and while it may be difficult to find plants that are tolerant of this compound, there are some that will survive in these conditions. The key is selecting plants that either naturally produce their own juglone or are tolerant of its presence. Here are some of the best companion plants for growing under black walnut trees.

Herbs such as oregano, thyme, basil, chives, and rosemary all do well under black walnuts. These herbs can be used fresh from the garden or dried for later use. In addition to being flavorful additions to any meal, they also have medicinal properties that make them valuable in treating various ailments.

Vegetables such as tomatoes, peppers, beans, squash and cucumbers can also tolerate the juglone produced by black walnut trees. Tomatoes and peppers benefit from staking in order to keep them upright while they grow. Other vegetables like beans and squash should be planted near a supporting structure such as a trellis or fence so they have something to climb on as they mature.

Flowering plants such as impatiens and sunflowers are good choices for adding color near a black walnut tree. Impatiens come in many colors and varieties and provide a bright display of blooms during the summer months. Sunflowers will add height and drama to any garden landscape with their large yellow flowers.

Vegetables That Grow Well Under Black Walnut Trees

Growing vegetables in a garden can be a rewarding experience, but it can also be challenging. When the conditions are not ideal, many vegetables may not thrive. One particular challenge is planting vegetables in an area near a black walnut tree, as black walnuts produce a chemical that is toxic to many plants. However, there are some vegetables that can still be grown successfully under these trees.

The key to successfully growing vegetables under black walnut trees is to understand the characteristics of the tree and choose plants that are tolerant of its conditions. Black walnuts create an environment with low pH levels and deep shade, which can be difficult for some plants to tolerate. In addition to selecting vegetables that are tolerant of these conditions, it is important to make sure they have adequate drainage and adequate sunlight.

Some of the best vegetables to grow in this environment include potatoes, onions, garlic, lettuce, kale, cabbage and carrots. These root crops are able to tolerate low pH levels and deep shade better than other types of vegetables. They also have the added benefit of being able to withstand cold temperatures better than other types of crops.

In addition to these root crops, there are several other types of vegetables that can also do well under black walnut trees. Asparagus is one example; although it does require more sunlight than some other types of vegetables, it has proven itself successful in areas with both deep shade and low pH levels. Spinach is another vegetable that does well in this type of environment; although it needs plenty of water and sunlight during its growth period, once established it will tolerate both deep shade and low pH levels quite easily.

Finally, tomatoes can also do quite well under black walnut trees if they have enough sunlight and drainage; however they will require regular fertilizing in order to ensure they get enough nutrients from the soil. Beets and beans can also do fairly well but will need plenty of water during their growing season in order to ensure their success.

Overall, while growing vegetables under black walnut trees may pose some challenges due to their unique environmental characteristics, there are still several options available for gardeners who want a successful harvest despite these challenges. By choosing hardy root crops such as potatoes or onions as well as other more delicate options such as spinach or tomatoes with careful consideration given for light requirements and soil drainage needs, many gardeners have found success even when growing near black walnut trees.

Flowers That Thrive in Shade of Black Walnut Trees

When planting flowers near black walnut trees, it is important to choose plants that will thrive in the shade. Black walnut trees are known to produce a chemical called juglone, which can be toxic to some plants. Not all plants are affected by juglone however, so there are plenty of shade-loving flowers that can be planted near black walnut trees.

Impatiens are one of the most popular shade-loving flowers for landscaping near black walnut trees. They come in a variety of colors and bloom from spring through fall. They also add vibrant color to any garden and they are easy to care for. Hostas are another popular choice for shady areas around black walnuts. These hardy perennials have attractive foliage and come in a range of sizes and colors.

Bleeding heart is an unusual flower that is well-suited for planting in the shade under black walnuts. It has delicate pink or white blooms shaped like hearts that hang from arching stems. Coral bells are also great for shady gardens; they have colorful foliage and delicate bell-shaped blooms that appear in late spring or early summer.

Foamflower is another good choice for planting under black walnuts; it grows low and spreads quickly, forming a thick mat of green foliage with tiny white blooms in late spring or early summer. Anemones also thrive in the shade under black walnuts; they have delicate white petals surrounding a golden center and bloom from late spring through early fall.

For those looking for more color, hellebores are an excellent choice; they come in shades of pink, purple, yellow, white and even green and bloom from late winter through early spring. Astilbes are another great option; they produce colorful plumes throughout summer that attract pollinators such as bees and butterflies to the garden.

No matter what type of flower you choose to plant near your black walnut tree, it’s important to make sure you choose plants that will thrive in the shade provided by the tree’s canopy. With careful selection and proper care, you can create a beautiful landscape with flowers that will bring vibrant color to your garden all year round!


Plants that grow under black walnut trees are hardy and capable of flourishing in a variety of soil conditions. The juglone toxin, produced by the tree, creates an environment that limits the species of plants that can survive in the shade. However, these plants have adapted to their unique circumstances and have learned to thrive in an environment that is inhospitable to many other plants.

Despite being faced with such adversity, these hardy species have found a way to successfully survive under the shadow of black walnut trees. With careful consideration for soil nutrient levels and proper watering, these plants can thrive and create a beautiful garden full of native species.

As gardeners, it is important to understand the unique conditions surrounding black walnut trees and how it impacts the species of plants that can survive within its canopy. By taking into account what this tree produces and how it affects its surroundings, gardeners can create a beautiful space with resilient plant life that will flourish for years to come.

In conclusion, plants that grow under black walnut trees are hardy and capable of thriving in difficult soil conditions due to their adaptations over time. By understanding the unique conditions created by this tree, gardeners can create an environment conducive for long-lasting plant growth and beauty.