what to plant under maple trees

Planting under maple trees can be a great way to add some color and texture to your landscape. Maple trees are a hardy and versatile tree that can provide plenty of shade and a lovely backdrop for other plants. When selecting plants for growing under maples, it is important to consider factors such as soil type, light levels, moisture requirements, and the size of the tree. With a little knowledge and planning, you can create a beautiful garden with plants that thrive in the shade of your maple tree.When planting underneath a maple tree, it is important to choose plants that can tolerate the low light and shallow root zones of the area. A small selection of shade-tolerant perennials, shrubs and groundcovers work well, including astilbe, coral bells, hosta, ferns, English ivy, solomon’s seal, hellebore and vinca. It may also be possible to plant shallow-rooted trees like dogwood or serviceberry in this type of environment. If your soil is poor or dry under the tree, amend it with compost or other organic material before planting.

Soil Quality

When planting under a maple tree, one of the most important things to consider is the quality of the soil. Maple trees have shallow root systems and can be easily damaged by heavy soil that does not drain properly. It is best to choose a soil that has good drainage and is rich in organic matter. If necessary, it may be beneficial to add compost or other amendments to improve the quality of the soil before planting.

Light Availability

Another factor to consider when planting under a maple tree is the amount of light available. Maple trees tend to have dense canopies that can shade out much of the sunlight needed for plants underneath them to thrive. If possible, choose plants that are more shade-tolerant and can still thrive with less light, such as hostas or ferns.

Air Circulation

When planting under a maple tree, it is also important to consider air circulation. The dense canopy of a maple tree traps moisture and prevents air from circulating freely around plants underneath it. This can cause disease problems for some plants, so it is important to choose varieties that are more resistant and able to tolerate poor air circulation.

Competition From Roots

Finally, it is important to consider competition from the roots when planting under a maple tree. Maple trees have extensive root systems that can compete with nearby plants for water and nutrients, making it difficult for them to thrive in close proximity. To minimize competition from roots, be sure to plant further away from the trunk or use raised beds or containers for planting instead.

What Not to Plant Under Maple Trees

It is important to be mindful of the plants you choose to plant under maple trees. While some may grow well and provide the tree with a beautiful background, others may not do as well and can even harm the tree. Generally, it is best to stay away from plants with shallow roots as they can compete with the maple tree for nutrients and moisture. Some plants that should not be planted under maple trees include:

  • Trees and shrubs with shallow root systems
  • Vegetables such as tomatoes, peppers, or squash
  • Flowering annuals such as petunias or impatiens
  • Perennials with aggressive root systems such as lilies or peonies
  • Ground covers such as ivy or vinca

These plants are not suitable for planting under maples because they have aggressive root systems that can compete with the tree’s roots for water and nutrients. Additionally, some of these plants may be too tall or wide for the space available and could block sunlight from reaching the maple’s leaves. If you want to add some color and texture beneath your maple tree, consider planting perennial herbs such as thyme, oregano, or sage instead. These herbs are low-growing and won’t compete with your maple tree’s roots for nutrients.

Shade Plants That Thrive in Shade

Finding the right plants to thrive in shady areas can be a bit of a challenge. Fortunately, there are plenty of shade-loving plants that can bring life and color to any garden. Whether you’re looking for foliage plants, flowering shrubs, or even trees, there are plenty of options available that can survive in partial or full shade.

Foliage plants are an excellent option for shady spots as they come in a variety of shades and textures. From the dramatic leaves of caladiums to the soft fronds of ferns, these plants bring texture and color to any shady spot. Hostas are a classic choice with their large paddle-shaped leaves and variegated colors. Heuchera is another great option for shade gardens. This perennial features colorful foliage in shades of green, purple, bronze, and silver.

Flowering shrubs are also great choices for shady spots. Azaleas are classic favorites that offer beautiful blooms in shades of pink, red, white, and lavender throughout the spring and summer months. Hydrangeas are another popular choice with their large blooms that come in shades of blue, pink, white, and purple depending on the soil type. Camellias also do well in shade gardens with their fragrant blooms in shades of pink or white appearing late fall through early spring.

Trees can also be planted in shady areas as long as they receive enough sunlight throughout the day to thrive. Japanese maples feature delicate foliage and stunning fall color that range from bright oranges to deep purples depending on the variety chosen. Dogwoods offer bright white flowers during springtime followed by vivid red berries during summer months before turning beautiful shades of yellow and red come falltime. Magnolias also add beauty to any garden with their fragrant flowers that typically bloom starting in late winter or early spring before giving way to glossy green foliage all summer long.

Shady spots can become just as vibrant as sunny areas when planted with the right plants! Whether you’re looking for foliage plants, flowering shrubs or even trees there are plenty of options available that will thrive in partial or full shade conditions so you can enjoy a lush garden all year round!

Shrubs Suitable for Planting Under Maple Trees

Maples are magnificent trees that offer shade and beauty to any garden. But because these trees have dense canopies, they tend to leave the soil underneath them in deep shade. This means that plants growing beneath them must be able to thrive in low light conditions. Fortunately, there are a number of shrubs that can thrive and even bloom under maple trees.

One of the best shrubs for planting under a maple is azalea. Azaleas come in many varieties and colors throughout the year, providing bright pops of color for your landscape. They prefer shady, moist conditions and will put forth vibrant blooms when planted beneath a maple tree.

Another great choice is camellia. This evergreen shrub is ideal for growing under maples as it also prefers shady conditions and can tolerate some drought once established. Camellias offer beautiful white or pink blooms in the early spring months that can last until late summer depending on the variety you choose.

Japanese holly is another excellent option for planting beneath maples as they produce glossy foliage and small white flowers during the summer months. These shrubs are extremely hardy and require little maintenance once established, making them an ideal choice for any garden landscape.

Finally, rhododendrons are a popular choice among gardeners due to their large size, long-lasting blooms, and ability to withstand shade from maple trees. When choosing rhododendrons for your garden, make sure to select ones with evergreen foliage so they will retain their beauty throughout the year even when not in bloom.

Shrubs provide an easy way to add color, texture, and life to your garden landscape — even when planted beneath maple trees! With a wide range of shrubs available suitable for this environment, it’s easy to find one (or several!) that will bring beauty and character to your outdoor space all year long.

Types of Flowers That Do Well in Shade

Shade can be a challenge for gardeners, as many plants require full sun to thrive. However, there are plenty of beautiful flowers that will thrive in shady conditions. Here are some of the most popular types of flowers that do well in shade:

Impatiens are one of the most popular shade-loving flowers, with a wide variety of colors and sizes available. They have small, delicate petals and bright green foliage that adds an extra touch of color to any garden. Impatiens prefer moist soil and will bloom from spring to fall, making them a great choice for shady areas.

Begonias are another type of flower that is perfect for shady areas. They come in a variety of colors and shapes, and their large leaves provide an attractive backdrop for the delicate blooms. Begonias don’t require much maintenance and can easily be propagated from cuttings.

Fuchsias are also great for shady gardens, as they come in a range of colors from deep purples to bright pinks. They have long stems with dangling blooms that make them excellent for hanging baskets or window boxes. Fuchsias prefer moist soil, so they may need more frequent watering than other flowers.

Hostas are an easy-to-grow perennial flower perfect for shady gardens. They come in a range of colors and shapes, with large leaves that provide texture and interest even when not in bloom. Hostas don’t require much maintenance but should be divided every few years to keep them healthy and promote new growth.

Shade can be tricky for gardeners, but with these shade-loving flowers it’s easy to add color and interest even in the shadiest spots!

Ground Cover Plants for Shade Areas

Shade areas can be a challenge when it comes to growing plants, as many require lots of sunlight. However, there are plenty of ground cover plants that thrive in shaded areas and can provide your garden with lush green foliage and attractive blooms. Some of the best ground cover plants for shade include vinca minor, pachysandra, lamium, ajuga, hosta and ferns.

Vinca minor is a low-growing evergreen plant that features glossy dark green foliage and attractive blue or white flowers in spring. It’s perfect for those shady spots where other plants have difficulty growing and is a great choice for adding texture and color to your garden.

Pachysandra is another great choice for shady areas as it spreads quickly and covers large areas with its glossy green foliage. It also produces small white flowers in late spring which add to its attractiveness.

Lamium is an evergreen perennial that features silvery-green foliage with vibrant purple or pink flowers in summer months. It’s perfect for softening hard edges in the garden such as walls or pathways and can tolerate both sun or shade.

Ajuga is an evergreen perennial that has attractive blue flowers in spring and spreads easily by underground runners. Its foliage remains evergreen throughout the winter months providing colour all year round.

Hostas are also a great choice for shaded areas as they come in a variety of sizes, shapes, colors and textures. These hardy perennials have lush foliage that ranges from bright green to blue-gray and they produce stunning bell-shaped flowers in late summer or early fall.

Ferns are also ideal for shade gardens as they thrive in low light conditions with their lacy fronds creating an interesting texture in your garden beds or borders. There are many varieties available ranging from tiny varieties such as Japanese Painted Ferns to larger varieties like Ostrich Ferns which can reach up to five feet tall!

No matter what type of garden you have, there are plenty of ground cover plants that will thrive in shaded areas giving you an attractive landscape while helping keep weeds at bay!

Adding Perennials for a Shady Garden

Shade gardens add beauty and texture to any landscape. While it may be challenging to find plants that thrive in the shade, there are plenty of perennials that will provide lasting color and interest. Hostas, astilbes, and ferns are some of the most popular perennials for shady gardens. They’re easy to grow, require minimal care, and will often spread over time with little effort. Shade-loving flowers such as bleeding hearts, impatiens, and begonias will add vibrant color to your garden while providing long-lasting blooms throughout the season. For areas with deep shade, try adding Japanese forest grass or heuchera for added texture and interest. With careful selection and placement of plants, you can create a stunning garden oasis in even the shadiest spots.

When it comes to choosing perennials for a shady garden, it’s important to pick varieties that thrive in these conditions. Most perennials require at least four hours of direct sunlight each day; however, some are much more tolerant of shade than others. Consider selecting plants that are labeled as “shade tolerant” or “shade loving” when shopping for your garden. Additionally, be sure to read plant tags or descriptions carefully so you know how much light each plant needs in order to thrive.

When planting perennials in a shady area, make sure they’re spaced properly so they can get enough sunlight and air circulation. If you’re planting near trees or shrubs that cast deep shade on your garden bed, consider adding taller plants at the back of the bed so they can get more light while providing texture and interest. When choosing flowers for a shady garden bed, look for those that bloom early in the season; this way they won’t have to compete with larger plants later on in the year.

With careful planning and selection of plants for your shady garden area, you can create a beautiful oasis full of lush foliage and vibrant blooms year after year. Many perennials will return year after year with minimal effort on your part; all they need is plenty of water and regular fertilizing during their growing season. With just a little bit of work now you can enjoy a gorgeous perennial garden throughout the seasons!


When planting under a Maple tree, it is important to take into account the soil, drainage, sunlight and shade requirements of the plants you are considering. In addition, it is important to choose plants that will not compete with the Maple for nutrients or water. Consider low-maintenance and drought-tolerant native plants that can thrive in the environment. Consider adding ground covers, shrubs, perennials and annuals to create seasonal color or texture. When adding plants to an area under a Maple tree be sure to practice proper spacing and pruning techniques to encourage healthy growth.

By choosing the right plants and caring for them properly, you can create a beautiful landscape even when working with limited space beneath a Maple tree. With careful consideration of plant requirements and maintenance, you can create an attractive and inviting outdoor space that will add value and enjoyment to your home for many years.