What to Plant under Apple Trees?

Some great plants to grow under apple trees include strawberries, garlic, chives, and clover. These plants can help to keep the soil healthy and provide a range of benefits such as pest control, weed suppression, and improved soil fertility.

Planting under apple trees can be a great way to make the most of your garden space and create a thriving ecosystem, so let’s explore how you can choose the right plants and get started with your own fruit tree guild. With a little planning and some careful attention to detail, you can create a sustainable and productive garden that adds beauty, variety, and sustainability to your home.

What to Plant under Apple Trees?

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Understanding Apple Trees

Apple trees are a common sight in gardens and orchards. These trees belong to the rosaceae family and can easily be recognized by their beautiful white blossoms and shiny fruit. Apple trees come in different sizes and shapes, and their fruit comes in a variety of colors and flavors.

If you are planning to grow apple trees, it’s essential to choose the right variety that is best suited for your location and climate. When planting under apple trees, you must choose plants that will not compete for nutrients and water.

Some plants that do well under apple trees are strawberries, mint, garlic, and chives. Planting companion plants under apple trees can also prevent pests and diseases, improving the overall health of the tree.

Benefits Of Planting Under Apple Trees

Planting under apple trees offers a plethora of advantages to both the trees and the plants. Most apple trees can live for over 50 years with proper care, and planting under them is a great way to improve their health and productivity.

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Planting under apple trees provides an added layer of protection to the soil. When the surface is left exposed, it is more likely to be eroded by wind and water, which will lead to soil loss and nutrient depletion. Additionally, planting under apple trees helps maintain optimum soil moisture and temperature, reducing evaporation and keeping the soil cool during the hot summer months.

As a result, the soil under the apple trees tends to be richer in organic matter and nutrients, which is beneficial for the trees and any other plants grown underneath.

Tips on Companion Planting with Fruit Trees – The Micro Gardener

Companion Plants For Apple Trees

Companion planting can make a big difference when it comes to growing fruit trees, particularly apple trees. Planting companion plants under apple trees can aid with pollination, control pests and diseases. They can also improve soil fertility and water absorption, resulting in healthier trees and better fruit yield.

Interestingly, apple trees also benefit from certain herbs, vegetables, and flowers planted nearby, which act as natural pest deterrents. These include chamomile, garlic, mint, marigolds, and onions. Consider planting these companions close to your apple trees, and you’ll certainly see improvement in your crop yields and overall tree health.

Plants To Avoid Planting Under Apple Trees

Despite the benefits of planting under apple trees, there are certain plants that should be avoided. Some plants have shallow roots and can compete with the tree for water and nutrients, which can harm its growth. Others attract harmful insects that can damage the apples.

Plants to avoid planting under apple trees include mint, grass, clover, and dandelions. Mint can overgrow and become invasive, while grass, clover, and dandelions are too competitive for water and nutrients. Other plants to avoid include those that attract pests such as aphids, mites, or borers, which can damage the apple tree.

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A few of these plants are birch, cottonwood, and poplar trees, as well as juniper bushes. By avoiding these harmful plants, apple trees will have a better chance of growing and producing healthy fruit.

Planting Techniques Under The Apple Trees

Planting under apple trees may seem tricky, but it can be done with the right techniques. Firstly, prepare the soil by mixing compost and mulch. Secondly, find plants that can tolerate some shade and moisture, such as strawberries, chives, and mint.

Thirdly, use a method called “guild planting” by choosing complementary plants that can benefit each other, such as planting dill to attract beneficial insects. Lastly, avoid planting shallow-rooted plants or trees that compete with the apple tree’s roots. Follow these planting techniques to create a thriving ecosystem under your apple trees.


Planting under apple trees can be a fun and fruitful experience. There are many options to choose from, but it’s important to keep in mind the tree’s needs. The best plants for apple trees are ones that thrive in partial to full sun and do not compete with the apple tree’s roots.

Some great options include herbs like thyme and chives, as well as vegetables like lettuce and radishes. It’s important to maintain healthy soil, keep the area weed-free, and avoid using chemicals that could harm the apple tree or the plants growing underneath it.

With the right plants and care, planting under apple trees can yield a bountiful harvest and create a beautiful and beneficial ecosystem in your backyard. Happy gardening!