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Plants below tree with aphids

Zone Portland, OR | mintchocchip584 added on September 8, 2016 | Answered

My neighbors have a big tree that gets aphids every summer. They have no interest in spraying or working to remove the aphids. My neighbors and I both have a parking strip below this tree, and the honeydew from the aphids drips down onto the plants below. I had a hydrangea planted there, and the honeydew turned the flowers an ugly gray. I'd like to plant something underneath that won't be wrecked or look awful with the consequences of the aphids. I'm thinking succulents? Perhaps something that has foliage year-round but doesn't flower? (The leaves of the hydrangea look ok with the sticky honeydew; the flowers suffered the most.) Do you have any suggestions?

A.Answers to this queston: Add Answer
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on September 8, 2016

Succulents might work, but I'm not sure whether the honeydew would make them look unsightly as well.

There are plenty of options for foliage plants without showy flowers. Those with small leaves, leaves with several colors on the same plant, or variegated leaves might help hide the honeydew effects a bit more. Something like this:

Alternatively, maybe you could focus on plants that are at their peak or that flower during the spring and fall when the honeydew is less of a problem.

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