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Old 07-23-2022, 10:36 AM
Location: Youngstown, Oh.
5,496 posts, read 9,435,589 times
Reputation: 5604


What have you planted near black walnut trees that have survived/thrived?

In the back of my backyard, I have a shady area that is like a little outdoor room. It's enclosed on three sides by garages, and is shaded by black walnut trees. Many years ago, it was used as a garden by the elderly lady who lived here. (before the black walnuts volunteered, apparently) So, the soil is easy to work, and seems pretty fertile. After the lady passed away, the area was abandoned, and just collected trash leaves, weeds and grapevines, for decades. Not long after I moved in, in 2013, I cleaned this area out. Currently, I have a few daffodils, hyacinths, tulips, for spring color, and I have large hostas for the rest of the year. I'm a lazy gardener, so I like perennials that thrive on neglect. LOL.

This is what it currently looks like:

This fall, I think I want to plant many more daffodils, add in some grape hyacinth, wood hyacinth, maybe more tulips. Then, next spring, I'll divide the hostas to fill in the gaps, and to keep the weeds down, after the spring flowers fade.

So, getting back to my original question, what have you planted that actually do well near a black walnut tree? I like the hostas, but wouldn't mind adding some variety, too. I'm in zone 6, if you want to make suggestions.

I've found lists online of plants that will survive near black walnut, that are tolerant of juglone, but my experience has shown that the lists aren't very accurate. That's why I'm looking for real-world experiences. For example, I tried planting heuchera/coral bells, and that lived a couple years; coming back smaller and smaller each year. I also planted kerria japonica, and it also came back smaller each year. I transplanted it to a different area of the yard before it could die completely, and after two years, it's thriving. You might argue that the kerria preferred a sunnier spot. But, I planted it at the edge of the shady area, so it should have gotten enough sunlight. I also planted a fern in the middle of the hostas a couple years ago, (don't remember the exact variety) and it didn't come back this spring.
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