Many people love the majestic Oak. There’s nothing like the shade and grandeur an oak tree brings to a landscape. But what can you grow in all that shade your oak tree provides? There are actually quite a few wonderful plants that thrive beneath oak trees! Plant a few of these shade-loving grasses and perennials and you won’t miss the sun-loving flowers that just don’t do well beneath oaks.
Plants That Thrive Beneath Oak Trees
One of the best things about an oak tree is that even though it provides lots of shade for your yard and home, it does grow tall enough that plenty of indirect, filtered light does reach the ground beneath. This gives you the option to plant a wide variety of plants that thrive in light conditions ranging from filtered, indirect light to total shade. Here are a few of my favorite options to consider.
Grasses That Thrive Beneath Oak Trees
If you love ornamental grasses, you’ll be happy to know that there are several varieties that thrive beneath oak trees. This is especially good news because regular turf grasses tend to struggle in all that shade, so ornamentals are the way to go if you want grass. Consider varieties like the Northern Sea Oats you see above. Choose June grass, Tufted Hair grass or any other ornamental grass native to your area.
Sedge is in a class by itself. It looks like an ornamental grass, but is not a grass. It commonly grows in forests, making it the perfect plant to grow beneath oak trees. Many sedge varieties are also drought-tolerant. Consider planting Oak sedge or Bristle leaf sedge beneath your oak tree.
Perennials That Thrive Beneath Oak Trees
Perennials are always a great choice if you want a plant that will return from year to year. One of those that looks spectacular in any shade garden is the Hosta. Hostas are well-known for their ability to thrive underneath a variety of trees. They come in a variety of colors and leaf shapes, so do your homework before choosing your favorite.
Creeping sedum is a lovely groundcover to plant underneath an oak tree. It spreads very quickly, but without taking over or becoming unruly. Sedum also tends to retain its foliage even through the winter, making it an interesting year-round plant for your landscape.