What To Plant Under Hickory Trees

In this blog, we'll discuss some considerations for choosing plants to grow under hickory trees, as well as some options to consider. We'll also provide tips for planting and caring for your garden under a hickory tree.

There are several types of plants to consider to plant under hickory trees, including shade-tolerant annuals, perennials, shrubs, and groundcovers.

So, if you're looking to add some greenery to the area under your hickory tree, read on for some helpful ideas and advice.

[Related Article: What Is Special About A Hickory Tree]

Considerations For Choosing Plants

What To Plant Under Hickory Trees

When it comes to choosing plants to grow under hickory trees, there are several important factors to consider.

These include soil conditions and pH level, amount of sunlight, water and moisture requirements, and compatibility with hickory tree roots.

The first step in selecting the right plants for your garden is to assess the soil conditions in the area where you plan to plant.

Is the soil well-draining or is it prone to standing water? Is the pH level acidic or alkaline?

Different plants have different soil requirements, so it's important to choose plants that are well-suited to the conditions in your garden.

Next, consider the amount of sunlight that the area receives. Shade-tolerant plants are a good choice for areas that are partially or fully shaded, while sun-loving plants will need more direct sunlight to thrive.

Water and moisture requirements are another important consideration. Some plants prefer moist soil, while others prefer well-draining soil and are more drought-tolerant.

Make sure to choose plants that are suited to the level of moisture in your garden.

Finally, it's important to consider the compatibility of the plants with the hickory tree roots.

Some plants have shallow root systems that can easily be damaged by the roots of larger trees, while others are more tolerant of root competition.

Carefully selecting plants that can coexist with the hickory tree roots will help ensure the health and success of both the trees and the plants.

Types Of Plants To Consider

When it comes to gardening, choosing the right plants is crucial for success.

This is especially true when it comes to planting under hickory trees, as these trees provide plenty of shade, which can make it difficult for some plants to thrive.

However, there are a number of shade-tolerant plants that can thrive in these conditions. Some examples include:

  • Shade-tolerant annuals: Impatiens, begonias, and coleus are all annuals that can tolerate low light conditions. These plants add color and interest to a garden and can often thrive in areas with dappled or indirect sunlight.
  • Shade-tolerant perennials: Hostas, ferns, and hellebores are all perennial plants that can tolerate low light conditions and often thrive in shaded areas. These plants provide long-lasting interest and can be a great addition to any garden.
  • Shade-tolerant shrubs: Rhododendron, azaleas, and mountain laurel are all shrubs that can tolerate low light conditions and provide year-round interest in a garden. These plants can add structure and depth to a garden and can provide a stunning display of flowers in the spring.
  • Shade-tolerant groundcovers: Pachysandra, vinca, and barrenwort are all groundcovers that can tolerate low light conditions and can be used to fill in areas where grass may be difficult to grow. These plants are low maintenance and can help to create a lush, green groundcover in shaded areas.

There are many other types of plants that can tolerate low light conditions, and it is important to consider the specific needs of the plants and the conditions in your garden when selecting plants to grow under hickory trees.


Planting under hickory trees can add beauty and diversity to your garden while also providing a number of benefits.

These large, long-lived trees offer shade and shelter for plants, and their deep roots can help to prevent soil erosion.

Remember to pay attention to the specific needs of the plants you choose and the conditions in your garden, as this will help ensure their success and allow you to enjoy a thriving and beautiful garden for years to come.

Wyatt Keith

Wyatt is a hickory tree expert with 25 years of experience studying and working with these majestic trees. Wyatt has worked on various research projects and has conducted extensive field work, studying the growth and behavior of hickory trees in different regions of the country. In addition to his research, he has also worked with landowners and land managers to help them properly care for and manage their hickory trees. Wyatt is passionate about sharing his knowledge and expertise with others, and he frequently gives talks and presentations on hickory trees to various audiences.

Other Articles