Tree Planting and Care 101: Flowers/Landscaping

Planting around street trees and yard trees is recommended if done carefully.  Aggressive flowers and shrubs compete with the tree for limited resources.  Selected perennials (see below list) can also be complementary but, flowers that have shallow roots and die back each year (annuals) are recommended. Please do not plant flowers within 1 foot of the tree trunk. And if you do plant, be sure to provide enough water for the tree, not just enough to perk up the flowers.

  • Perennials, annuals, and bulbs are beautiful additions around a tree, as long as you remember that the tree's health comes first.
  • Choose plants that require little watering. Key words to look for are "drought tolerant" and "xeric conditions."
  • Use small plants and bulbs - large plants require large planting holes, which damage tree roots. In addition, plants with large root systems compete with the tree for water and nutrients.
  • Mulch is always good for your tree and plants. Mulch keeps the soil moist and prevents weeds from sprouting in tree pits. After planting, put mulch between the plants.
  • In a street tree pit, never plant bamboo, ivy, vines, woody shrubs, or evergreens. They are all major competitors for water and nutrients and can stunt or kill a tree.
  • Greenstreets are individually crafted by our landscape designers, and maintained by our gardeners, so please do not add extra plantings to them.


Bulbs are a nice addition to Greenstreets and tree pits, and are great for fall planting activities. Many bulbs will return each spring, bringing color to your neighborhood. They are both affordable and easy to plant.

Winter Aconite (Eranthis hyemalis)
Snow Drops (Galanthus nivalis)
Spanish Bluebells (Hyacinthoides hispanica) (Best in shade)
Lily of-the-Valley (Convallaria magilis)
Grape Hyacinth (Muscari)
Tulips (tulipia)

Plants for the Sun
Good for newly planted trees

Annuals (Plants that live only one year):
Sweet Alyssum (Mat forming, small yellow or white flowers)
Dusty Miller - Senecio cinerara (Beautiful snow white and shiny silver color) Licorice Plant Helichrysum
Portulaca-Rock Rose, Moss Rose (Good drought tolerant plant)
Geranium (An old standby that requires little water)
Scented Geranium (For leaf form, color and small flowers)
Heliotrope (Beautiful scent)
Cosmos (Dwarf - height 24")
Ageratum (Low growing with small purple flowers)
Blue Marguerite Daisy
Lantana (A variety of unique flowers)
New Guinea Impatiens

Perennials (Plants that live for more than one year):
Ox-eye Daisy (chrysanthnum leucanthemum) (Beautiful white flowers)
Bugleweed (Ajuga reptans)
Snow in Summer (Cerastium tomemtosum)
Lilyturf (Liriope muscari)
Sedum (Sedumalbuonor acre) (Only low growing)
Thyme (Thymus serpiphylluur or pseudolanugipsus) (Mat forming varieties)

Plants for the Shade
Good for newly established trees

Begonia (Elegant flowers that come in a large variety)
Coleus (Variegated foliage, purple flowers)
Lobelia (Small edging plant)
Pansy (Some are winter hardy)
Viola Torenia (Looks like a small pansy)
Impatiens (Popular colorful flowers that will do well in your tree pit, sun or shade)
Monkey Flower(Mimulus) (A variety of colorful flowers)
Browallia (Fabulous blue color)
Fuchsia (Variety of species, most annuals bear a red tubular flower)

Elephant's ears (Bergenia cordifolia) (Holds good winter color)
Coral Bells (Heuchera)
Spotted Deadnettle (Lamium maculatum) (Excellent groundcover)
Lilyturf (Liriope muscari) (Evergreen)
Foam Flower (Tiarella cordifolia) (Vigorous groundcover with white upright flowers)
Periwinkle (Vinca minor) (Will fill your tree pit with greenery and small purple flowers)