Why won't plants grow under my Holly tree?

I have a holly tree in my front garden with a boarder underneath.  The canopy is about 6 feet from the ground but anything I plant underneath won't grow.  The same plants grow very well in the rest of the boarder.  Even when well watered the poor specimins under the tree stay sad.  I was wondering if the the degrading leaves are poisonous to other plants / soil.  Can anyone answer this for me?  

Many Thanks, Mary


  • WelshonionWelshonion Posts: 3,115

    Probably too dry.  The holly tree must suck up many gallons every day.

  • chrissieBchrissieB Posts: 772

    Don't forget that the holly will also be staking all the goodness out of the soil as well as the water. The leave drop may also have raised the acidity of the soil. You probably need to focus in plants that thrive in dry shade and give them plenty of good compost and feed when you plant them. A regular mulch with old compost will also probably help



  • Perhaps you should ask your boarder to leave some room for plants?

  • Thanks guys.  and LOL gardeningenes image  I'll ask image

  • I have trouble with a bush that I recently planted next to a fence. On the other dude is a eucalyptus trea. The bush is dying, have fed it but no luck.

    Any tips?

  • KEFKEF Posts: 8,915

    I have Honesty growing under a bay tree, very dry and lacking nutrients but it loves it image

    Carolyne maybe start a new thread post a picture and say what the bush is image 

  • landgirl100landgirl100 Posts: 655

    The only thing that grows under my holly tree is ivy. Oh, and self-seeded elder. It's too painful to crawl about under there to remove them...

  • DorsetUKDorsetUK Posts: 441

    There's a huge holly tree at the end of the hedge behind the flats I live in but that corner does get the late afternoon sun.  I have several large tubs there  planted with various bulbs and perennials.  I feed the tubs but not the holly as its about 10 metres high and produces millions of berries every year, greatly appreciated by the blackbirds on a cold winter morning

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