Choosing new landscaping for your garden can be confusing if you don't have all the correct information. Do you have a eucalyptus tree that you want to plant things under but have no idea what will grow? Is it possible to grow something beneath a eucalyptus tree?
We'll cover these questions and many more throughout this article. With that said, let's dive right in!
For those working with a eucalyptus tree, many plants will be fine to go under it. A few of our top suggestions include:
- Geraldton wax flower
- Slender tea-tree
- Myrica Californica
Of course, there are other options, as most ground-covering plants that don't mind shade should work underneath a eucalyptus, so there are plenty to choose from.
As we begin, we will cover all things eucalyptus trees and discuss what you can plant under yours. Whether it's time to add color to your garden or you need some inspiration, we're here to help. With that said, let's dive head first into this topic!
Will Plants Grow Underneath A Eucalyptus Tree?
Yes! You can grow plants beneath a eucalyptus tree, as long as they don't mind roots and shade.
Generally, as long as the species/variety you plant under your tree can handle the damper, darker conditions, it will thrive.
As with much under-tree landscaping, you must remember that eucalyptus will have a canopy. Not only will its foliage prevent the sun from reaching the ground below, but it can even cool down the air in that lower section.
Although that sounds like a perfect thing for us, it can be harsh on most plants in a garden.
Moreover, many living things require sunshine and suitable exposure to the elements to grow. If your plant is under a eucalyptus tree, it may not get enough sunlight and nutrients as other plants farther away.
However, some species don't mind these unusual growing conditions. As we covered, there are a variety of flowers and crawling plants you can grow beneath a eucalyptus tree successfully.
That said, let's take a closer look into each one below:
1. Geraldton Wax Flower
Our first suggestion for under a eucalyptus tree would be planting Geraldton wax flowers. These purple and white flowering plants will do well in shadier conditions, as long as the soil they're in drains well.
Additionally, this species grows fast, tends to become full at a young age, and can handle various climates.
Another reason to plant Geraldton wax flowers beneath a eucalyptus tree is that they don't like the wind, so a protected location greatly benefits them.
Next, we have a periwinkle idea for beneath your eucalyptus tree. These flowers will be gorgeous in the spring and thrive under existing trees and with their root systems, making them a perfect choice.
One of the benefits of planting periwinkle is that it should remain green throughout the year.
Furthermore, as long as the ground surrounding your tree and flowers has good drainage, these plants should be successful for years to come.
Third, we have lavender to plant under a eucalyptus tree. Although typically, this flowering plant prefers full sun, lavender can handle the shade in hotter climates.
So, if you're in the desert and want to grow lavender flowers, you might as well place them beneath an existing tree.
Additionally, as lavender matures, it becomes incredibly drought-tolerant, which is perfect for those wanting to conserve water.
Again, if you want plenty of blooms, you'll maintain a routine watering schedule, but less water won't do any harm in the summer months.
4. Slender Tea-Tree
Switching gears, we have a shrub/small tree idea for underneath a eucalyptus. Considering this plant does well in the shade and doesn't mind moisture, planting a slender tea tree can be a great option for your yard.
Typically, you'll find these in poorer soil conditions, near streams, so they can certainly handle moisture.
That said, slender tea trees don't always respond well to excessive water and a lack of sun, so you must see which condition will be more common before planting.
Additionally, these shrubs/trees will be evergreen, meaning they maintain their color through the winter season.
Another great plant to grow beneath a eucalyptus tree would be Heuchera. Also known as "coral bells," these colorful shrubs do well in shadier locations, making them perfect for underneath a tree.
In addition, Heuchera's are very hardy, meaning they can take wind, a lack of sun, moisture, and even drought. These will also be semi-evergreen, so they'll keep their vibrant color for most of the year.
Although their name doesn't sound pleasant, lungworts can work nicely under a eucalyptus tree. Generally, you will notice lungwort has thick, fuzzy foliage, often speckled.
These plants aren't super vibrant but tend to spread fast and survive in usual places. Certain varieties will even produce gorgeous blue flowers in the spring, so these can be quite pretty if you find the right ones.
Many people compare the leaves of lungwort to lettuce, so if that intrigues you, this could be a good choice.
Moving to a more unique species, we have belladonna for under a eucalyptus tree. Generally, these will be somewhat toxic herbaceous plants, so we don't recommend them if you have young kids or pets.
Belladonna has a rich history, often used as medicine leading back to ancient times. People still ingest belladonna to treat asthma and other breathing issues, so this can be an interesting idea for your yard.
Furthermore, these plants will thrive in damper, shadier spots, and bright ones, so they're versatile.
8. Myrica Californica
Lastly, we have Myrica Californica for under a eucalyptus tree. Famously known for their almost spicy scent, these green shrubs are fast-growing and can thrive in most conditions.
Additionally, Myrica Californica is a broadleaf evergreen, so they'll keep their color all year. That can be great for anyone wanting to maintain greenery in their yard through the fall and winter.
One takeaway is that your shrub could reach upwards of 30 feet if you don't prune it, so keep that in mind if you grow one beneath your eucalyptus tree.
Do Eucalyptus Trees Have Deep Roots?
No, eucalyptus trees do not generally have very deep roots. Instead, these trees have shallower, wide-spreading root systems that won't usually go deeper than a few feet in the soil.
According to Home Guides, 90% of eucalyptus' roots will be found within the first 12 inches of soil. Considering how big these trees can become, that's an almost shocking detail.
With that said, you can expect the roots of a eucalyptus tree to grow rapidly, which helps keep them in the ground.
This is something to remember when planting things under or around your tree, as too many competing root systems can cause trouble in your garden.
Generally, the more mature plant of the two will end up killing the weaker, smaller one, so this can be a deadly mistake.
Therefore, we recommend choosing plants with shallow, non-invasive roots under a eucalyptus to prevent any competition from developing.
You also want to keep in mind that the more plants within a given plot of land, the less overall nutrients each one will get, so it's sometimes better to space them out.
How Much Space Does A Eucalyptus Tree Need?
You want to give your eucalyptus about eight feet of space on all sides. As we said above, these trees tend to have shallow, sprawling roots, which can damage structures and other nearby trees/plants.
However, this will depend on your tree and garden, as everyone is working with a different situation.
For example, if you have a line of eucalyptus trees near your home, they might only need 3-4 feet from one another, as they are the same species and will likely adapt to each other.
On the other hand, if you have different plants and trees near a eucalyptus, you'll want to leave a bit more room to prevent anyone from fighting for nutrients.
Is It A Good Idea To Plant Things Below A Eucalyptus Tree?
As long as the plant you choose is shade-tolerant and won't extend deep into the ground, it should be fine to go under your eucalyptus tree.
As we mentioned earlier, eucalyptus tends to respond well to shallow-rooted plants alongside it, so doing this won't usually spell trouble in your garden.
That said, you want to be mindful of the conditions your new plant will endure. Most importantly, if your eucalyptus tree has a large, full canopy, don't expect a sun-loving species to survive under it.
You also want to make sure whatever plant you grow under a eucalyptus tree can handle excess moisture, as your tree will hold on to water longer than a common shrub or flower.
Moreover, growing two or more plants in the same spot in your yard isn't always easy. Sometimes, the ground can become less fertile, as more living things depend on it, leading to weaker, younger plants dying.
To Wrap It All Up
Whether you have a eucalyptus tree growing or want to plant one, it's essential to know what you can and cannot grow under it. We found plenty of flowers, shrubs, and even trees you can grow under a eucalyptus.
If you prefer something vibrant, we recommend periwinkle, lavender, and Geraldton wax flowers, while other green plants like belladonna and lungwort will be great options too.
This all comes down to your garden and landscaping aesthetic. Just have fun in your space!
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