Underplants in the garden - plant selection and tips for planting

Underplants in the garden - plant selection and tips for planting

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The soil under tall plants usually looks bare. There you should think about an underplant. A selection of plants and tips for planting can be found here.

Underplants make a lot of things

Especially under trees, hedges, large shrubs and also some tall plants, the soil does not always look so beautiful or bare. You can, however, visually upgrade this if you plant the soil underneath. It looks nice and also prevents you from seeing roots at some point, mossing shady areas and forming unsightly weeds.

Basically, you should know, however, that the underplanting of flat rooters (such as hazelnut bushes, birch trees, etc.) is more difficult than that of deep rooters. Nevertheless, the planting of flat root plants is possible, which in turn means more moisture for the host plant.

Small selection of plants

First of all, shade plants and robust ground cover plants are very suitable for underplanting. The variety of plants that is now available in specialist shops guarantees even more scope to create a nice arrangement between the individual plants. Depending on the nature of the soil and the host plant, the following underplants are available:

  • In the shade of spreading tree tops, you can use lily of the valley, lady's mantle, magnificent spars, ferns, toad lilies, sparks, etc. for the underplanting.
  • If it is a light penumbra, you can also use begonias and fuchsias for effective planting.
  • Moist soil conditions ensure underplanting with e.g. Star umbels or ragwort.
  • The well-known spring messengers such as snowdrops, crocuses, small daffodils and grape hyacinths are suitable for planting almost all trees. Autumn timeless, gold nettle and squill can also find a place here.
  • You can also use ivy for the underplanting, which at the same time winds upwards on the tree trunk.
  • Almost all ground cover plants can be paired with light shrubs, depending on their tolerance. An arrangement of differently flowering ground cover works nicely, which at the same time offers a harmonious picture with the flowering of rhododendrons, for example.

Tips for planting

➤ Tip 1 - planting trees:

If you are planting under trees, which naturally form very strong roots, you should plant the small plants either in rotting pots or in small wooden boxes so that they cannot be crushed by the root pressure of the host plant.

➤ Tip 2 - transplant container plants:

Furthermore, you can also grow tall container plants such as Transplant rose trees easily. For this purpose, mallows or gypsophila are suitable as an underplant. But also citrus trees, which are often housed in quite large planters, tolerate horn violets and the like in the pot next to them.

➤ Tip 3 - fertilize / water:

You should also note that the plants used for the underplanting must also be supplied with sufficient nutrients. For trees, you can easily use the falling leaves, which rot over the winter months and let the plants sprout with new strength in spring. It also saves you from raking leaves. All other plants, on the other hand, must be supplied with compost or complete fertilizer if necessary. By the way, did you know that ash from the fireplace can be used wonderfully as fertilizer? You can find great videos on the subject at So if you are a happy owner of a fireplace, definitely use this tip.

Important: Don't forget to water during long periods of drought!

The biologist Karin Greiner gives further tips on “underplanting”:
»Underplanting - Tips from Karin Greiner