What to plant with Catalpa

Companion Planting with Catalpa


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Catalpa trees, known for their large, heart-shaped leaves and showy, fragrant flowers, can make a striking focal point in a large landscape or garden. When selecting companion plants for Catalpa trees, consider the following options:

Understory trees and large shrubs: Plant species like Cornus (dogwood), Amelanchier (serviceberry), Cercis (redbud), or Hydrangea paniculata can add diversity and provide seasonal interest beneath the Catalpa canopy.

Shade-tolerant perennials: Select perennials that thrive in dappled shade or part sun, such as Hosta, Heuchera (coral bells), Helleborus (Lenten rose), or Geranium macrorrhizum (bigroot geranium).

Ferns: Ferns like Dryopteris (wood fern), Matteuccia struthiopteris (ostrich fern), or Polystichum (sword fern) can add texture and provide a natural, woodland feel beneath Catalpa trees.

Groundcovers: Use shade-tolerant groundcovers like Epimedium (barrenwort), Pachysandra (Japanese spurge), Vinca minor (periwinkle), or Galium odoratum (sweet woodruff) to cover the soil and prevent erosion.

Spring ephemerals: Early-blooming woodland plants like Trillium, Erythronium (trout lily), or Sanguinaria (bloodroot) can add a pop of color in the spring before the Catalpa tree fully leafs out.

Bulbs: Plant shade-tolerant bulbs like Narcissus (daffodils), Scilla (squill), or Leucojum (snowflakes) to provide spring color in a woodland setting.

Native wildflowers: Incorporate native wildflowers like Mertensia (Virginia bluebells), Asarum (wild ginger), or Lobelia (cardinal flower) to support local ecosystems and create a more natural look.

Grasses and sedges: Shade-tolerant grasses like Carex (sedges), Chasmanthium (wood oats), or Deschampsia (tufted hair grass) can provide textural contrast and blend well in a woodland landscape.

Climbing plants: If you have a sturdy support structure near the Catalpa tree, consider adding climbing plants like Clematis or Hydrangea anomala subsp. petiolaris (climbing hydrangea) for vertical interest.

Rhododendron and Azalea: Acid-loving shrubs like Rhododendron and Azalea can be planted beneath Catalpa trees if the soil is acidic and well-draining.

Keep in mind that Catalpa trees have extensive root systems and may not appreciate too much root disturbance. Be cautious when planting around their root zone, and choose plants that have non-invasive root systems. Also, consider the specific growing conditions of your garden, such as sun exposure, soil type, and climate, when selecting companion plants for your Catalpa tree.

Now you know What to plant with Catalpa

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