What to plant near black hills spruce

Asked October 14, 2015, 5:38 PM EDT

I am about to plant a black hills spruce that is only 3' tall at present (zone 5). Since it is so small and grows quite slowly, I want to make a large perennial bed around it. What low growing plants would accent it?

Kalamazoo County Michigan

1 Response

First, congratulations on recognizing that your new perennial bed requires low-growing perennials at this time to balance the size of the new tree. Over time, as it gains height, you may wish to look at changing out some of the low-growing plants with somewhat taller varieties. At that time you may also need to look more carefully at shade-loving plants, depending on positioning of your tree and the resulting shade it may cast on the perennial bed. For now though, there are a wealth of low- or lower-growing perennials to choose from, depending on your color preferences and soil conditions. This is an excellent article describing many of these choices and includes also some brief discussion on planning a low-growing perennial bed. Note that some of these plants listed are cultivars of plants that otherwise grow fairly tall (such as coneflower and daisies), so DO pay attention to the specific variety listed here and double-check height on the plant labels before you purchase them. Enjoy planning and planting your new perennial bed!