Black Walnut Tree Toxicity - What Plants Are Immune?

By on January 24, 2013

Glory of the Snow (Chionodoxa forbesii) is a fall-planted bulb that grows happily under any walnut tree.

Walnut trees are fruitful and beautiful. I love to sit in the shade of one of my walnut trees and look out over the sloping garden. In our video Tricia shows you how to care for and prune walnut trees.

walnut orchard

Walnut trees definitely like their own space, and can be bad neighbors to certain plants. Find out the best companion plants for walnuts.

Black walnut tree toxicity

Black walnut trees load their roots, buds, and nut hulls with the juglone toxin (leaves and stems have smaller amounts of juglone). The toxin seeps into the soil and susceptible companion plants will turn yellow, wilt, and sometimes die.

But wait, you say, I don’t have a black walnut tree. Actually, most walnut trees are grown on black walnut rootstock these days, therefore the root system is likely to be rich in juglone. The soil under the canopy of the tree will have the highest concentration of juglone due to the combined effects of the roots, along with fallen leaves, hulls, and shells that are lying on the ground. Picking up this litter is good “orchard sanitation” or many Integrated Pest Management reasons, including decreasing the amount of juglone.

Companion plants for black walnut trees

Purdue University has informal lists of plants that tolerate juglone and those that are sensitive to it. Choose from the following list for best results in planting near black walnut trees or walnut trees grown on black walnut rootstock. Follow these guidelines for planting within the dripline of the tree and, according to the University of Wisconsin, up to 50’-80’ from the trunk. Naturally you need to consider the sun and shade requirements of the plants, as well.

Vegetables: lima bean; snap bean; beet; carrot; corn; melon; onion; parsnip; squash.

Fruits: black raspberry, cherry.

Landscape plants: arborvitae; autumn olive; red cedar; catalpa; clematis; crabapple; daphne; elm; euonymous (burning bush); forsythia; hawthorn; hemlock; hickory; honeysuckle; junipers; black locust; Japanese maple; maple (most); oak; pachysandra; pawpaw; persimmon; redbud; rose of sharon; wild rose; sycamore; viburnum (most); Virginia creeper.

Flowers and herbaceous plants: astilbe; bee balm; begonia; bellflower; bergamot; bloodroot; Kentucky bluegrass; Spanish bluebell; Virginia bluebell; bugleweed; chrysanthemum (some); coral bells; cranesbill geranium; crocus; Shasta daisy; daylily; Dutchman’s breeches; ferns; wild ginger; glory-of-the-snow; muscari (grape hyacinth); grasses (most); orange hawkweed; herb Robert; hollyhock; hosta (many); hyacinth; Siberian iris; Jack-in-the­ pulpit; Jacob’s ladder; Jerusalem artichoke; lamb’s ear; leopard’s bane; lungwort; mayapple; merrybells; morning glory; narcissus (some); pansy; peony (some); phlox; poison ivy; pot marigold; polyanthus primrose; snowdrop; Solomon’s seal; spiderwort; spring beauty; Siberian squill; stonecrop; sundrop; sweet Cicely; sweet woodruff; trillium; tulip; violet; Virginia waterleaf; winter aconite; zinnia.

Plants that are sensitive to black walnut tree toxicity

Vegetables: asparagus, cabbage, eggplant, pepper, potato, rhubarb, tomato.

Fruits: apple, blackberry, blueberry, pear.

Landscape plants: black alder; azalea; basswood; white birch; ornamental cherries; red chokeberry; hackberry; Amur honeysuckle; hydrangea; Japanese larch; lespedeza; lilac; saucer magnolia; silver maple; mountain laurel; pear; loblolly pine; mugo pine; red pine; scotch pine; white pine; potentilla; privet; rhododendron; Norway spruce; viburnum (few); yew.

Flowers and herbaceous plants: autumn crocus (Colchicum); blue wild indigo (Baptisia); chrysanthemum (some); columbine; hydrangea; lily; narcissus (some); peony (some); petunia; tobacco.

Field crops: alfalfa; crimson clover; tobacco.

Tip: This does not mean you can’t compost black walnut leaves. According to Ohio State University Extension, “walnut leaves can be composted because the toxin breaks down when exposed to air, water and bacteria. The toxic effect can be degraded in two to four weeks.” If you do compost the leaves, put them in a separate compost pile and do not spread the resulting compost on plants that are on the sensitive list.

For more information: The go-to book for anyone growing nut and fruit trees in California is the UC Davis publication, The Home Orchard.

Add some walnut trees to your property and create a beautiful landscape with these companion plants that tolerate toxicity.

  Comments (100)


I’m in Ontario, Canada, and have Black walnuts surrounding my entire property. First, at least in Canada, do NOT plant Autumn Olive—it’s an invasive alien here.

Secondly, I’m growing lots of things, some easily and some using straw bales or the “Ruth Stout” method. I have three different types of native Dogwoods, native Elderberries, native Black Raspberries, Haskap berries, gooseberries, native Chokecherries, enormous old Spruce trees, willows, etc., etc. I’m also growing tomatoes in straw successfully, although the ones in containers are growing faster. Most native flowering plants grow fine, also.

Posted by janeisgreen on Jun. 26, 2013 at 5:54:50 AM

janeisgreen, Thank you for the report from your garden!

Posted by on Jun. 26, 2013 at 12:07:02 PM


Does anyone know if Japanese Forest Grass is Juglone tolerant?

Posted by Kathy on Jun. 30, 2013 at 8:41:00 AM


What type of cover crops or forage for chickens can I plant under a black walnut. I see grasses are good, so I assume wheat or rye, but how about summer covers like Buckwheat? Also will a wildflower mix do well? My chickens have denuded the area under the tree and I have moved them. Would maybe like something for them to eat when I put them back.

Posted by Ian on Jul. 08, 2013 at 5:07:43 AM

Ian, We don’t have a plant list that is more extensive than the information here—so going with grasses seems to be your best bet but beyond that you should try cover crops that do well in your zone and season.

The chickens would be eating the wildflowers before they had a chance to bloom, wouldn’t they?

Sadly, alfalfa and clover do NOT do well with black walnut/juglone, so you should not plant our Omega-3 Chicken Forage Blend here, but do try it elsewhere in your garden Let us know which grasses work well in the location.

Posted by on Jul. 09, 2013 at 4:16:25 PM

Kathy, We don’t know about Japanese Forest Grass and juglone. The list says “most grasses” are tolerant of juglone, so perhaps you can do an experiment and let us all know?

Posted by on Jul. 09, 2013 at 4:24:00 PM


I grew a garlic patch close to a Black Walnut tree. It seemed to grow fairly well. Will the Juglone affect the garlic in any way (making it toxic)? Would the Juglone help the garlic by killing of some of the harmful nematodes that have been killing some garlic root systmes?

Posted by Mark on Jul. 29, 2013 at 11:49:39 AM

Mark, Garlic will probably do fine in spite of the juglone. Onions, from the same allium family, are on the tolerant list. The juglone does not, as far as I can tell, pass along any toxicity—it simply hampers the growth of plants that are sensitive to it. The interaction of juglone with susceptible plants is described as “Plants sensitive to juglone show signs of wilting, yellow leaves, stunted or slow growth, and eventually death.”

Posted by on Aug. 07, 2013 at 2:57:19 PM



Posted by I have to get rid of invasive horseradish plants. on Oct. 10, 2013 at 7:45:43 AM

Cindy, Yes, that’s an invasive plant, but the good news is that this IS the time of year to harvest it. When you dig up the roots try to get all the lateral roots too, and you may succeed in having a horseradish-free garden. If it returns, keep digging and one of these years you’ll win. If you miss eating it after a while, then grow it in a container.

Posted by on Oct. 11, 2013 at 1:59:05 PM


Charlotte, I have lots of black walnut stumps that I would like to use for edible mushroom cultivation. Specifically, Chicken Mushroom and King mushrooms Is it safe or does the toxin continue into the mushroom?

Posted by Tere on Oct. 28, 2013 at 12:03:35 PM

Tere, Juglone is present in every part of the plant so unless someone eating the mushrooms is allergic to walnuts it should be just fine. Juglone is a natural antimicrobial agent so I’m not sure if the mushrooms would take right away, but I found no research that said not to use them. Hopefully that helps.

Posted by on Dec. 20, 2013 at 9:25:30 AM


My son wants to make cutting boards using walnut.  Can the sawdust be composted - or would we be better off making a separate compost pile for this?  also, does the wood pass along any toxicity in the cutting board?

Posted by Katie on Feb. 10, 2014 at 11:12:51 AM

Hello Katie, Yes I would make a separate compost pile with walnut saw dust and don’t use it on sensitive plants. The composting process will reduce the juglone quite a bit but a might release a little bit still. The cutting boards will be beautiful and safe. You get quite a high dose of juglone from eating walnuts (English walnuts have less than Black walnuts). In fact, in the case of pecans, the juglone content of the nut is two to three times higher than the trunk.

Posted by on Feb. 10, 2014 at 3:25:44 PM


What about quinoa? thanks

Posted by Sandra on Feb. 25, 2014 at 1:25:22 AM


Hello Charlotte,
Would quinoa tolerate walnut toxicity? Thanks in advance

Posted by Sanda anderson on Feb. 25, 2014 at 7:45:40 AM

Hello Sanda,
I was unable to find any research that said it grew under walnuts or it didn’t. I’d say it’s worth a bit of trial and error to see. If lambsquarter grows under walnuts than the quinoa would do well since they are very close relatives.

Posted by on Feb. 25, 2014 at 11:44:19 AM


I can’t find hazelnut or filberts on any of the lists, as companion or sensitive. We have a couple black walnuts on our property and would love to add a couple of native hazelnuts. But it makes no sense if they will die. Do you have any useful information on this?

Posted by Sarah on Mar. 10, 2014 at 12:37:06 PM

Hello Sarah,

According to Penn State American Hazelnuts (Corylus amaricana) the native hazelnut are on the tolerant of juglone list.

Posted by on Mar. 11, 2014 at 8:33:19 AM


I need to know what herbs specifcally mint or spearmint & dill and parsley

Posted by Vicki Nash on Mar. 27, 2014 at 8:43:51 AM

Hello Vicki,
Yes, mint is on the tolerant of juglone list. I haven’t seen dill or parsley on either list. Juglone toxicity tolerance or sensitivity is an active area of study. All that to say, for many plants it’s just not known.

Posted by on Apr. 08, 2014 at 10:41:25 AM


we have deer and black walnut.  will lavender, gallardia, salvia, yarrow, and soapwort grow under black walnut?  The deer don’t eat those.  We have cone flowers, black-eyed susans and vinca, both walnut and deer resistant but would like to try something new. love this column!

Posted by doot trolz on Apr. 23, 2014 at 7:59:14 AM

Hello Doot,

Yarrow is known to be resistant to juglone. Lavender, gillardia, and salvia don’t appear on either list, so I’d say they’re worth a try. Some other juglone and deer resistant perennials I found are bluebells (Endymion sp.), Jack-in-the-pulpit, and daffodils. Good luck!

Posted by on Apr. 23, 2014 at 9:42:43 AM


Thanks so much!  We’ll give ‘em a try and let you know!

Posted by doot on Apr. 24, 2014 at 7:23:09 AM


can i plant a decorative dappled willow tree near my 36 inch diameter black walnut tree ?  dappled willow would be planted 60 feet distance from walnut tree in a slightly raised bed.

Posted by kevin prendergast on Apr. 27, 2014 at 10:18:16 AM


Daughter wants to know if lavender will grow near a walnut tree. Thank you in advance on your responding to this request.

Posted by Jackie on Apr. 28, 2014 at 5:26:34 AM

Hello Jackie,

Lavender isn’t on the sensitive or the tolerant list. Juglone sensitivity is an ongoing study, so it’s not known. I’d say get one plant and see if it does well.

Posted by on Apr. 28, 2014 at 7:56:52 AM

Hello Kevin,

Willows are on the tolerant list so it should be fine.

Posted by on Apr. 28, 2014 at 8:07:26 AM


Are there any rhododendrons that can tolerate black walnut? Mine has slowly killed off two! I do have good luck with peonies, hosta, ferns, and Japanese maples!

Posted by Molly on May. 17, 2014 at 8:30:56 PM

Hello Molly,

Unfortunately, I don’t know of any rhododendrons that are tolerant of juglone. Rhodies are on the sensitive list.

Posted by on May. 19, 2014 at 9:05:06 AM


Love this article and the comments: really helpful.  We recently had a 75+ year Blk Walnut taken down and stump ground out and are looking to put a new tree in close proximity.  Sounds like Japanese maples and rosebuds are tolerant, but our wish list for new trees also includes dogwood and tricolor beech.  Has anyone had any experience with these and how they might tolerate juglone in the residual rotting root systems?  We are SE Pennsylvania area, and are looking forward to no longer having walnuts hit us and our cars in the nearby driveway.

Posted by Steve B on Jun. 19, 2014 at 7:56:07 AM


Will healthy ferns about 4 to 5 feet tall survive lining near a black walnut tree?

Posted by Jeffrey Lodginski on Jul. 01, 2014 at 11:23:46 AM

Hello Jeffrey,

Yes, ferns have been observed to be tolerant to juglone.

Posted by on Jul. 02, 2014 at 10:30:08 AM

Hello Steve,

Dogwoods are considered tolerant. I haven’t seen beech on one list or the other. The juglone will persist in the soil for a while as the roots decompose in the soil.

Posted by on Jul. 02, 2014 at 10:34:20 AM


Hello I am wondering if aronia is tolerant of black walnut as well as the s. Nigra species of elderberry?

Posted by Karen on Jul. 23, 2014 at 4:26:09 PM

According to information I found on the internet, Aronia is highly sensitive to juglone and should not be planted by a black walnut. I have found information on the Virginia Cooperative Extension ( that says elderberry is tolerant to growing near a black walnut.

Posted by Suzanne at Peaceful Valley on Jul. 25, 2014 at 12:25:13 PM


Wondering about herbs like basil, tarragon, oregano and lemon thyme? Will they be ok under the tree? Planted before i realized it was a black wanut tree in my new yard!

Posted by Mary on Jul. 28, 2014 at 8:09:39 PM

I have not found information regarding the herbs you are interested in planting. All the herbs you listed, except tarragon, prefer full sun so planting under a tree may not be the best idea.

Posted by Suzanne at Peaceful Valley on Aug. 01, 2014 at 11:56:00 AM


Black walnuts are protected trees here, in Los Angeles.  I have one outside my back fence along the street, but it seems to be effecting the bed on the inside of the fence.  I planted pickling cucumbers & cantaloupe and both yellowed & died.  However, 3 rhubarb plants seem to be thriving there.  Odd, since melon is on the tolerant list and rhubarb is on the vulnerable list.

Posted by Penny on Sep. 03, 2014 at 11:23:58 AM


We have many black walnut trees in our yard. In the fall I use the leaves for winter mulch which I remove every spring and pile up in an open area of the garden. I have heard the leaves shouldn’t be used for mulch. This process has been going on for years.

This past spring I had some extra seed potatoes left over so I put them into the pile of black walnut leaves. Over the course of the summer I noted that the potatoes in the black walnut pile were sending up very vigorous plants. I dug the potatoes today and I have never seen such big and so many potatoes from single plants.

I find this strange when black walnuts are supposed to be toxic to potatoes.

Posted by Fred on Sep. 16, 2014 at 6:21:48 PM


Hey, I’ve read some of the comments about black walnut, and would like to add mine.  We raise grass fed beef and have noticed that although grasses such as fescue will grow under these trees, cattle don’t like to graze it under the trees as far out as the branches.  Also, we are planning a test plot of cereal rye in our hay field, and it has walnut trees growing along the edge of a one acre section where grass is thin.  I’m pretty sure it isn’t due to the trees, since grasses are growing under them on other parts of the farm.  This area is acidic, and I think cereal rye is happy with that.  If I get a chance, I’ll write back and let you know the results.  I’m in VA, so think I can get a pretty good stand established before really cold weather sets in.

Posted by Margaret Smith on Sep. 24, 2014 at 6:09:34 PM


We grow horseradish in an old tire. This keeps the root curling around and around inside the tire, and it has not been invasive, even though it is in the middle of our regular garden. It has been three years now, with no sign of invasiveness. It also makes it easier to harvest the root, to divide it if you want to do so, and to make sure you get all the roots if you want to remove it elsewhere.

Posted by Elizabethe Walton on Oct. 03, 2014 at 7:22:24 AM

Not sure why the potatoes are growing in the pile, possibly lower levels of the juglone in the leaves.

Posted by Suzanne at Peaceful Valley on Oct. 07, 2014 at 11:47:32 AM


We were able to grow pickling cucumbers in a large container: gave them a trellis, and they thrived quite well. This was about 15 feet away from a black walnut tree in Upstate New York.

Posted by Kim Ziccardi on Jan. 15, 2015 at 7:42:33 AM


Can I grow PawPaw trees near my black walnut trees?

Posted by Anita Braden on Feb. 07, 2015 at 2:49:41 PM

The sources I viewed did not say anything about pawpaws under black walnut trees. You might seek out the advise of your local Master Gardener in your area. They might have a better idea.

Posted by Suzanne at Peaceful Valley on Feb. 13, 2015 at 10:51:03 AM


Pawpaws are shown as tolerant on several lists that I have.  Someone earlier questioned Japanese forest grass, mine did not do well in a walnut shade garden, hosta, astilbe and ferns perform spectacularly.  Have also not had any luck with coral bells, which are listed as tolerant.

Posted by JoAnn on Feb. 14, 2015 at 8:17:17 AM


Will the soil rejuvenate if I take out several small black walnut trees that are growing on the outskirts of my garden?  How can I help the soil enrichment process?

Posted by Barbara on Mar. 08, 2015 at 11:55:06 AM

The toxic effect from the black walnut roots can persist until they are decomposed, could be up to 4-5 years, depending on the rate of decomposition. Try planting a cover crop in the area to improve the soil, avoiding crops with clover or alfalfa, they seem to be more sensitive.

Posted by Suzanne at Peaceful Valley on Mar. 25, 2015 at 1:18:54 PM


I know someone already asked about crabapple being resistant to juglone the response said that according to the U of Minn, it is resistant. However, I read on the University of Wisconsin Extension website that crabapple is sensitive to juglone.

I’m confused. I have to take out two ailing black walnut trees in the right-of-way in front of my house and I’d like to replant with crabapples. Will they die?

Posted by Ellen on Apr. 01, 2015 at 4:57:49 PM

Per my previous comment about black walnuts, the toxic effect can remain in the roots until they have decomposed, which could take 4-5 years. I would probably not plant in the area of the black walnut trees for a couple of years.

Posted by Suzanne at Peaceful Valley on Apr. 09, 2015 at 11:33:57 AM


will ornamental grasses grow under walnut trees …

also, how far away from the walnut tree would be ok for a cherry (fruit bearing) tree ?


Posted by walter jones on Apr. 17, 2015 at 5:37:48 AM


Hello, I have a well established Black Walnut Tree set in a smallish lawn.  We planted Euonymus all around the edge of this area and some plants are actually under the canopy. Some plants were small leafed and others were the larger leaf variety, and weirdly all the small leafed ones died leaving the others to thrive!!  My red Lilac is dying a lingering death and want to put it out of it’s misery;  I notice that you mention Viburnum in both lists.  Do you think a Viburnum Tinus will survive.  We live in South West France and they love our climate.  I have enjoyed reading everyone’s comments, opinions and experiences, so merci beaucoup a tous!

Posted by Linda Saunders on Apr. 19, 2015 at 12:56:48 AM


Two questions:

Are Crape Myrtles resistant to juglone?

Also, my black walnut tree is located at the lowest point of my backyard, which is shaped like a bowl. If I plant white pine and/or crape myrtles along the rim of the bowl- at a higher elevation than the black walnut, can I successfully plant them about 40 ft away?

Posted by Steph on Apr. 19, 2015 at 6:59:28 PM

Walter, Not sure what grasses you are planting, but try the link in this blog for a list of plants. So cherries should be ok, but plant far enough away, well past the drip line of the walnut tree.

Posted by Suzanne at Peaceful Valley on Apr. 23, 2015 at 1:36:51 PM

Linda, try checking the link we have provided to see if the Viburnum is on the list of tolerant plants.

Posted by Suzanne at Peaceful Valley on Apr. 23, 2015 at 2:02:20 PM


I read somewhere that the toxicity affect of the walnut will be worse in a clay or poorly drained soil than it is in a sandy loam (well drained). I have a very sandy soil & can verify that tomato, rhubarb, rhododendron, silver maple white birch, white spruce & apple do not survive near black walnut. Cedar, white elm, raspberry, & lilac do.

Posted by John Wickens on Apr. 25, 2015 at 9:51:51 AM


I have a yellow peony tree planted under my black walnut and it is hale and hearty, my problem is the tiger lilies planted near by which don’t do well but come back in abundance each spring and die back mid summer foliage and all.  I have purchased some tolerant plants and wonder if I should relocate the tiger lilies. Not sure if it’s a juglone problem or too much shade…any ideas?

Posted by Kate Wheeler on May. 05, 2015 at 9:19:58 AM

All I have read about the tiger lily is that they may like moister soil than what you are providing and they like to have their “toes” cool in the shade but plenty of sun on the top growth. So it sounds like they are probably not getting enough sun and maybe not enough water.

Posted by Suzanne at Peaceful Valley on May. 11, 2015 at 12:01:42 PM


Do other walnut trees have the juglone problem? I cannot confirm what type of walnut trees I have, but it takes a hammer to crack them open. They grew wild out on my Uncles farm in Iowa and I want to plant fruit trees….apples near them if possible.

Posted by philip on May. 15, 2015 at 7:01:49 AM

Actually, most walnut trees are grown on black walnut rootstock these days, therefore the root system is likely to be rich in juglone. Apples are sensitive to juglone so make sure you plant them far away from the walnuts.

Posted by Suzanne at Peaceful Valley on May. 15, 2015 at 10:28:51 AM


Wanting to find out if Schisandra is okay with walnut I know grapes are but don’t want to risk my Schisandra plants without finding out first ?

Posted by James Williams on May. 16, 2015 at 10:40:28 PM

James, I have not found any information on Schisandra sensitivity to juglone. If you have a Master Gardener in your area ask them if they might know.

Posted by Suzanne at Peaceful Valley on May. 18, 2015 at 10:44:42 AM


I read somewhere that certain Magnolia trees are able to live with black walnut trees but now I can’t find that reference. We live in zone 6b (Ontario) do you have any recommendations for either Magnolia trees or other flowering trees that are tolerant? We have 4 large walnut trees surrounding our property. Thanks

Posted by Tania on May. 18, 2015 at 2:10:19 PM

I found this species, Magnolia soulangiana, in an article that states it is sensitive to juglone.

Posted by Suzanne at Peaceful Valley on May. 19, 2015 at 12:11:46 PM


Has anyone asked if grapevines are resistant to black walnut? ?

Posted by Bree on May. 31, 2015 at 2:04:45 PM

I did find a source that states that domestic grapes ARE sensitive to juglone. So do not plant within 50 feet of the drip line of the black walnut.

Posted by Suzanne at Peaceful Valley on Jun. 01, 2015 at 9:54:10 AM


I have Black Walnut growing around my long driveway and around the house. Then I have an old pasture that I plant in. Been careful to keep my garden, blueberries, Pear, apple, peach trees and such at least 80 feet away from any black walnut. I’m trying to create a wild life habit. Food for them and me. What about other trees that have Juglone? I guess most nut trees will have some? I’ve put out some Chestnut and now have some Pecans to plant. Will juglone sensitive trees grow around these other types of trees? Maybe they need not be as far way?

Posted by Ironyman on Jun. 03, 2015 at 9:22:53 AM

The information I found through a google search is that walnuts and hickories produce the chemical juglone. I did not find any information about Pecans or Chestnuts producing juglone.

Posted by Suzanne at Peaceful Valley on Jun. 03, 2015 at 10:33:47 AM


I have some Chinese Fringe-Flower plants (loropetalum Chinese var. rubrum) that I wish to transplant.  My two giant black walnuts are on the east side of my house and the plants are currently on the north side just around the corner.  They are thriving where they are. Do you think they would be ok with the walnut tree only 20 feet away?

Posted by Gwyn Sylvester on Jun. 07, 2015 at 10:09:54 AM

Gwyn, I did not find any information on whether or not the Chinese-Fringe Flower will tolerate growing near a walnut tree. My only suggestion is to plant some and see if they thrive.

Posted by Suzanne at Peaceful Valley on Jun. 08, 2015 at 11:40:35 AM


I just took down a 100 year old dying black walnut. I want to plant a Beech tree in its place. Will the beech be tolerant of the toxicity from the old walnut? If not, what majestic trees would you recommend to replant?

Posted by bobby on Jul. 09, 2015 at 5:46:37 PM

Bobby, I would check out the links in this article for a list of plants/trees that will tolerate being planted where the black walnut was located.

Posted by Suzanne at Peaceful Valley on Jul. 14, 2015 at 1:39:06 PM


Will bitter sweet vine tolerate black walnut ?

Posted by patti in Wisconsin on Jul. 16, 2015 at 1:15:41 PM


How far from a black walnut tree can I plant hydrangea?  I have just purchased some new endless summer hydrangeas without checking the tolerant list.  Thank you!

Posted by Kathy on Jul. 17, 2015 at 7:05:54 AM

Patti, what I have found on the internet is that the American bittersweet vine (Celastrus scandens) is tolerant to juglone from the black walnut roots.

Posted by Suzanne at Peaceful Valley on Jul. 20, 2015 at 4:29:41 PM

Kathy, hydrangeas are indeed sensitive to black walnut trees and also walnuts (which are grafted onto black walnut root stock). You should plant them at least 50 feet away from the drip line of the walnut tree. Also, make sure to keep all leaves, nuts and shells cleaned up as well.

Posted by Suzanne at Peaceful Valley on Jul. 20, 2015 at 4:36:36 PM


I have spent so much money on hedges only to have half of them die every year.  Finally after going to 3 nurseries, I was asked if we had any walnut trees. We don’t but, the neighbor directly behind has 2. I just purchased 4 coneflower plants in hopes they’ll grow. I not only like them but, need the height.  Please help!!

Posted by Roxie Schmidt on Jul. 20, 2015 at 9:17:30 PM

Roxie, I would suggest viewing the articles that we have linked in this article for a list of plants that are tolerant to juglone. Or re-vist your local nursery and ask their opinion on what will grow in your area.

Posted by Suzanne at Peaceful Valley on Jul. 21, 2015 at 9:32:27 AM


I have just purchased 3 Autumn Cherry Trees and just found out about juglone.  Can you tell me if they will survive planted within 10’ of the black walnut trees?  I have a line of lilac bushes that have finally taken off and seem to be thriving in this vicinity.  Thanks.

Posted by ae hughes on Jul. 21, 2015 at 11:01:37 AM

Ae, I see in one of the articles that cherry trees have been observed to grow near black walnuts. But keep in mind there may be variation between different varieties so I could not say absolutely 100% that they will not be affected.

Posted by Suzanne at Peaceful Valley on Jul. 21, 2015 at 3:31:10 PM


I have noticed that in your list, black raspberries are tolerant, but do tolerant plants also assist in reducing juglone proximity from the tree by absorbing it??

If so it may be a way to plant edible raspberries near the tree, and plant more sensitive varieties a little closer to the tree for urban growers with smaller space.

Posted by Raspy on Aug. 24, 2015 at 6:13:14 PM

Raspy, I have not heard of tolerant plants actually reducing the juglone. Improving your drainage will help reduce juglone in the soil and if you really want to plant a sensitive plant by a walnut (or hickory) tree, then planting in a raised bed may be the solution. Just as long as the roots do not penetrate down into the soil where the jugalone is present. Raspberries do not have deep root systems, so they would do fine in a raised bed, or large pot.

Posted by Suzanne at Peaceful Valley on Aug. 28, 2015 at 10:06:43 AM


Is it better to have a black walnut stump ground out or cut below ground level? I want to plant something that attracts birds and butterflies in its place. WI winters can be rough! Thank you!

Posted by Marti on Sep. 02, 2015 at 7:04:40 AM


Are all magnolias sensitive to black walnuts or just the saucer magnolia that is listed?

Posted by Melissa on Sep. 02, 2015 at 7:20:20 PM

Melissa, I have not found more information about whether it is all magnolias or just the saucer magnolia. You might check with your local Master Gardener for more information.

Posted by Suzanne at Peaceful Valley on Sep. 03, 2015 at 11:43:34 AM

Marti, I would check with an arborist on that type of question. It will take some time for the juglone to degrade in the roots that remain in the ground. So keep that in mind before planting.

Posted by Suzanne at Peaceful Valley on Sep. 03, 2015 at 11:45:29 AM


Have Hydrangeas growing like weeds under our Black Walnut.

Posted by Barry on Sep. 03, 2015 at 4:14:04 PM


Does anyone know specifically if the grass “miscanthus sinensis Zebrinus” will survive under a walnut????  thanks for needed info

Posted by Marcee on Sep. 12, 2015 at 7:46:19 AM


We recently cut down a naturally growing black walnut tree.  I had no idea what is was until I asked an arborist.  It was a fairly small clump, but the stump is about 12-18” in diameter.  We transplanted a large barberry bush right next to the stump, and suddenly it looks like it is dying (about 3 weeks later).  Is it from the black walnut tree roots?

Posted by Kathy on Sep. 18, 2015 at 12:08:46 PM

Not sure it really matters in terms of the toxicity of the black walnut. Make sure that you plant something that is tolerant to juglone, since the roots contain it and until they break down the area will remain unusable to plants that are sensitive.

Posted by Suzanne at Peaceful Valley on Sep. 24, 2015 at 10:01:35 AM


I had planted a Kwanzan Cherry tree in honor of my father in spring 2014. It bloomed beautifully as it had already set plenty of buds. Was looking forward to seeing it full of blooms this past spring (2015) and got not even one. I have fertilized it with tree spikes. This Cherry tree looks healthy, but was planted only 20-25 feet from my neighbors Black Walnut tree; actually right at the edge of the canopy. My local nursery didn’t think it would be a problem being near the black walnut but now I’m not sure if it’s the black walnut or that it’s just a new planting. What do you think? All the postings have been very helpful. Thanks!

Posted by K on Oct. 03, 2015 at 9:49:44 AM

K, every thing I have read about black walnut and tolerant varieties, your cherry should be fine. Many cherries can take up to 2-4 years to produce fruit. Also if your tree is in full bloom and then you get a bought of cold weather, your blooms can be damaged, drop off or not produce fruit. Also many cherry trees need a pollinizer. Is your cherry self-fruitful? Hope this information helps!

Posted by Suzanne at Peaceful Valley on Oct. 05, 2015 at 10:51:30 AM


Will figs grow under black walnut trees? I have a huge 140 year old black walnut and just planted a fig tree 10 feet from the drip line. Thank you

Posted by Robyn on Dec. 11, 2015 at 4:22:43 AM

I have not found much information on figs and black walnut. I did find a post about how fig production has declined in an orchard near black walnuts but no information on my educational sites.

Posted by Suzanne at Peaceful Valley on Dec. 14, 2015 at 9:22:07 AM


Would rainwater collected from roof surrounded by black walnut trees contain enough juglone from leaves and debris in gutters and raining through foliage to affect house plants (African violets) watered with the rainwater?

Posted by Barbara on Jan. 11, 2016 at 6:05:29 AM

Robyn, the juglone concentration is much lower in leaves and you might be ok to use the water from the runoff. But if you want to be safe then do not use the rainwater on sensitive plants.

Posted by Suzanne at Peaceful Valley on Jan. 11, 2016 at 10:14:47 AM


I am considering planting Goji berry bushes, but have black walnut trees in the vicinity.  I cannot find these on the lists - are they tolerant of juglone?

Posted by Judith on May. 30, 2016 at 8:56:25 AM


Anybody know if Abelia shrubs will grow under a black walnut tree?

Posted by Leisa on May. 31, 2016 at 10:18:27 AM


Excellent article and great comments from everyone!

Does anyone have experience planting almonds next to walnut trees?

Posted by Warren on Sep. 28, 2016 at 11:52:26 AM

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