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11 Plants That Do Not Like Pine Needles


Heather soil plants appreciate mulch made from pine needles.

Some other plants, such as strawberry plants, also appreciate this type of mulch.

For most other crops, and this is even more true in the vegetable garden, it is best to mix pine needles with other materials, ideally dry leaves from deciduous trees, to make a more balanced mulch.

Finally, pine needles are also useful for keeping away all gastropods, snails and slugs above all. They can therefore be very useful in protecting the most fragile vegetable plants.

11 plants that do not like pine needles:

  • Roses
  • Boxwood
  • Asters
  • The cardère
  • Grey and fluffy foliage
  • Artichokes
  • Lavender
  • Decorative Garlic
  • The variegated borders
  • Euphorbias
  • Thistles

How to use pine needles ?

Pine needles for mulching

Mulching has the advantage of reducing the appearance of weeds and maintaining good soil moisture. It also limits the arrival of parasitic insects such as slugs or snails. Pine needles harvested in the fall can therefore be useful for mulching the soil, especially for acidophilic plants. These plants need a more acidic environment than normal. However, pine needles have the particularity of gradually acidifying the soil. The pH decreases in 3 to 4 months after the needles are deposited. However, the acidification of the soil does not last long, so it is necessary to renew the operation regularly to have a low pH. The use is favourable in a massif of annual plants such as bellflowers or petunias.

Pine needles in the compost

In small doses: they will lighten the compost without acidifying it durably. But like any compost “ingredient”, they will have to be mixed with other waste for a balanced mix.

Against slugs

Pine needles are a natural slug repellent. Indeed, it is a very uncomfortable material for these insects, which prefer to take another path. Also, by arranging these needles around your plants, your salads and your plants, you will keep slugs away for a long time. It is all the more practical since, unlike wood ash for example, pine needles are not afraid of rain. So you won’t have to repeat the operation several times! However, you will have to think about decongesting your installation to avoid mould underneath.

Pine needles in the aisles

Why not use pine needles as driveway siding? Their rather fine texture allows them to settle and does not hinder the walker’s steps. They are rather decorative and will give a little air of pine undergrowth to your garden. And they’re free!

For orchids

When repotting an orchid, add up to a third of pine needles to the volume of the substrate. Mix well. Ideally, soak the pine needles in water overnight before use if they are very dry. Orchids appreciate the extra drainage provided by the needles and they recreate the natural bedding conditions in which many orchids grow.

At the foot of the strawberry bushes

Against dirt and slugs, surround the strawberry plants with a layer of needles 3 to 5 cm thick, insisting on the flower buds.


Have an acid soil

If your soil is too calcareous, you can acidify it a little thanks to the pine needles. Sprinkle a few pine needles on the ground and repeat the operation so that the soil is as acidic as possible. You can use sulphur or ammonium sulphate for a really acid soil. 

For the henhouse

How about using pine needles to please your hens and roosters? Indeed, lining the floor of your henhouse with pine needles would keep fleas and lice away. However, remember to mix the pine needles with wood chips so that your gallinacae don’t get bitten!

For goats

Did you know that? Pine is rich in vitamin C. Goats and other biquettes love conifer branches, which act as a natural dewormer. So sprinkle pine needles on farms, animal parks and your farms: you’re sure to make people happy! 


Pine needles tend to acidify the soil, so it will be necessary to prioritize acidophilic plants, on the contrary, the plants rather of limestone type, will not appreciate at all the presence of pine needles!

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