What Not To Plant Near a Black Walnut Tree: A Quick Guide

Do you know what not to plant near a black walnut tree or that these trees inhibit the growth of some plants? In this post, Ace Tree Service, the reliable tree service experts in Folsom, CA, explains more about why growing vegetable gardens near black walnut trees can go wrong.

What Is Wrong With Black Walnuts?

These native plants are lush and fruitful, making them a valuable addition to any garden. However, many species of walnuts, like the English walnut, produce juglone in high concentrations. The black walnut has the highest concentration of juglone throughout its roots, nut hulls, and buds.

What Is Wrong with Juglone?

For the tree itself, nothing. This compound protects the tree from insects and disease. Unfortunately, it has a toxic effect on many plants around it. Therefore, to know what not to plant near a black walnut tree, you must understand which plants are tolerant of juglone.

Plants That You Can Plant Near Your Tree

Considering the number of plants that will wilt and die near these trees, it’s easier to list the juglone-tolerant varieties instead. You should place any other plants far beyond the tree’s dripline and ensure that you thoroughly compost leaves for two to four weeks before using them as nutrients.


The following vegetables will do well near your black walnut:

  • Snap and lima beans
  • Carrots
  • Beets
  • Corn
  • Onions
  • Melons
  • Squashes
  • Parsnips


Fruit trees generally do better placed far away from the black walnut. The cherry and black raspberry are exceptions.

Landscape Plants

You may plant the following with confidence:

  • Red cedar
  • Autumn olive
  • Arborvitae
  • Catalpa
  • Crabapple
  • Clematis
  • Elm
  • Daphne
  • Euonymous
  • Hawthorn
  • Forsythia
  • Hemlock
  • Honeysuckle
  • Hickory
  • Junipers
  • Japanese maple and most other types
  • Oak
  • Pawpaw
  • Pachysandra
  • Persimmon
  • Rose of Sharon
  • Redbud
  • Wild rose
  • Viburnum
  • Sycamore
  • Virginia creeper

Flowers and Herbs

  • Bee balm
  • Astilbe
  • Bellflower
  • Begonia
  • Bergamot
  • Kentucky bluegrass
  • Bloodroot
  • Spanish and Virginia bluebell
  • Chrysanthemums
  • Bugleweed
  • Cranesbill geranium
  • Crocus
  • Coral bells
  • Shasta daisy
  • Dutchman’s breeches
  • Daylily
  • Wild ginger
  • Ferns 
  • Hyacinths
  • Hollyhock
  • Hosta
  • Siberian irises
  • Jacob’s ladder
  • Lamb’s ear
  • Jerusalem artichoke
  • Lungwort
  • Leopards bane
  • Morning glory
  • Merrybells
  • Mayapple’
  • Narcissus
  • Peony
  • Pansy
  • Poison Ivy
  • Phlox
  • Polyanthus primrose
  • Pot marigold
  • Snowdrop
  • Spiderwort
  • Solomon’s seal
  • Stonecrop
  • Sweet cicely
  • Trillium
  • Violet
  • Spring beauty
  • Winter aconite
  • Zinnia
  • Sweet Woodruff

Plants To Keep Away From Black Walnuts

These plants will wilt and die near your tree.


  • Cabbage
  • Asparagus
  • Eggplant
  • Rhubarb
  • Potatoes
  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers


  • Pear
  • Apple
  • Black- and blueberries

Landscape Plants

  • Azaleas
  • Black alder
  • Basswood
  • Ornamental cherries
  • White birch
  • Hackberry
  • Chokeberry
  • Amur honeysuckle
  • Japanese larch
  • Hydrangea
  • Lilac
  • Pine
  • Magnolia
  • Lespedeza
  • Potentilla
  • Rhododendron
  • Privet
  • Norway spruce
  • Yew
  • Viburnum

Flowers and Herbs

  • Roses
  • Blue wild indigo
  • Autumn crocus
  • Columbine
  • Lily
  • Hydrangea
  • Narcissus
  • Petunia
  • Peony


  • Tobacco
  • Alfalfa
  • Crimson clover

Contact the Professionals for the Right Advice

Whether you want to plant evergreens for privacy or need help creating the perfect layout for your garden, contact Ace Tree Service at (916) 934 3204. Our expert arborists will create a thriving garden for you. We’ll also advise you on what not to plant near a black walnut tree.