good flowering groundcover for zone 6?

Reply

  #1  
Old 04-27-08, 04:15 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 80
good flowering groundcover for zone 6?

Hi! I'm a beginning gardener living in Philadelphia - zone 6b. I'm working on landscaping my back yard, and looking for a good ground cover for an area that is mostly shade. My soil is pretty decent and a bit on the sandy side. I'd like a low maintenance, attractive ground cover that stays under 10", evergreen would be nice, or perhaps something that flowers? I'd like a very thick cover. Any ideas would be welcome! Thanks.
 

Last edited by jeastith; 04-27-08 at 06:10 PM.
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 04-27-08, 07:01 PM
connie's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 981
Pachysandra makes a lush ground cover for shade. It bears little insignificant white flowers in early summer.

Please avoid using ivy as it is so aggressive. Actually, I have tried numerous ground covers through the years and always wind up with the horrendous job of removing them.

If you are mostly shade, that probably means lots of falling leaves-hard to clean up when you have a ground cover. If you don't clean up the leaves, the ground cover stays wet, you have mold problems and slugs are a real nuisance.

If you're just beginning to garden, I think hostas and impatiens are wonderful for shade. You get lots of color and texture, and at the end of the season you clear it all. (Then you can blow all the leaves together and make some great compost!

Connie
 
  #3  
Old 04-27-08, 08:03 PM
Member
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Maryland zone 7
Posts: 1,716
Hi Jeastith,

There's a native Pachysandra and a Japanese one. Pachysandra terminalis aka Japanese Pachysandra or Spurge can be a bit of a maintenance nightmare. See liabilities here.
http://hcs.osu.edu/pocketgardener/so.../pa_nalis.html

Pachysandra procumbens aka Allegheny spurge is native and not quite as showy as the Japanese one. It is a little slower to establish and you'll still have the problem of cleaning up leaf litter.

Where is this groundcover going to be planted? Will it be under a tree, under shrubs, will other plants or bulbs be in the same bed?

Newt
 
  #4  
Old 04-28-08, 07:39 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 80
Hi Newt,
The groundcover is going in the corner of my small city back yard. There is a solid fence that is about 5 feet high, and a hammock in that corner as well plus there are large Maple trees that throw shade on that area a lot of the day. The only plant that the ground cover will grow around is a rhodedendron that i just put in. I want the ground cover to grow under the hammock, and basically fill that open corner of the yard, which, right now, is just dirt.
Thanks! jeannie
 
  #5  
Old 04-28-08, 02:59 PM
Member
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Maryland zone 7
Posts: 1,716
I'm really glad I asked where you'll be planting it. The Pachysandra wouldn't work for you if you are going to be walking on it. Like ivy, it has thick stems that will trail along the ground and could trip you. What you need are plants called stepables. Most of these are available at many mail order nurseries, not just the ones I have here for info.

There are groundcovers that form a mat and those that grow 3" to 6" tall. One of my favorites for your situation would be dwarf mondo grass aka Ophiopogon japonica ’Nana’. Be sure you get the dwarf variety. It looks alot like grass, can take light foot traffic, won't spread aggressively and can easily be pulled out if you don't want it where it spreads. It stays evergreen in my zone 7 garden.
http://classygroundcovers.com/item--...-japonica--329
http://www.stepables.com/store/scrip...p?idproduct=80

Leptinella aka Brass Buttons is a ferny looking mat forming groundcover that is more aggressive. There are several different varieties in different colors. There's even a miniature variety. It won't stay evergreen for you.
http://www.paghat.com/brassbuttons.html
http://www.stepables.com/store/scrip...p?idproduct=63
http://www.stepables.com/store/scrip...p?idproduct=67
http://www.stepables.com/store/scrip...p?idproduct=66
http://www.stepables.com/store/scrip...p?idproduct=65
http://www.stepables.com/store/scrip...p?idproduct=64

Laurentia fluviatilis ’Blue’ aka Blue Star Creeper might stay evergreen for you. Be sure to purchase this one by the scientific name as there are other plants with the same common name and they aren't as stepable.
http://classygroundcovers.com/item--...unculata--2217
http://www.entomology.cornell.edu/Ex...is_photos.html
http://www.entomology.cornell.edu/Ex...uviatilis.html

Veronica repens aka creeping speedwell. There's a light green and a dark green leafed variety.
http://www.entomology.cornell.edu/Ex...%20repens.html
http://www.stepables.com/store/scrip...?idproduct=129

Lysimachia nummularia "Creeping Jenny" aka Creeping Jenny aka Creeping Charlie can easily take over and might be a bit of a maintenence problem once it gets going. If the soil tends to stay moist, it will be very happy.
http://www.entomology.cornell.edu/Ex...ummilaria.html
http://www.stepables.com/store/scrip...p?idproduct=73

Mazus reptans aka creeping Mazus can also take over quickly and it might become a problem to maintain eventually. Comes in different colored blooms.
http://www.entomology.cornell.edu/Ex...20reptans.html
http://www.stepables.com/store/scrip...p?idproduct=75
http://www.stepables.com/store/scrip...p?idproduct=76
http://www.stepables.com/store/scrip...?idproduct=154
http://classygroundcovers.com/cat--MAZUS-reptans--MAZUS

Two others that you might get suggestions about could be:

Ajuga aka Carpet Bugleweed comes with different colored leaves. It forms mats and spikes of lovely purple flowers, but it seeds into lawns and can be a real nightmare to keep contained because of this. Been there, dug that!
http://classygroundcovers.com/cat--A...gleweed--AJUGA
http://www.stepables.com/store/scrip...p?idproduct=18

Vinca minor aka Vinca aka Periwinkle aka Myrtle has stems that grow along the ground and can be difficult to walk through. Several different colors of flowers available. It's invasive near woodlands.
http://www.entomology.cornell.edu/Ex...a%20minor.html
http://classygroundcovers.com/cat--V...e--VINCA-minor

If you mailorder you can check references here or search by state.
http://davesgarden.com/products/gwd/

You can always get more info about these plants by googling. You can also click on 'Images' to get pics.

Newt
 
  #6  
Old 04-29-08, 12:48 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 80
Thanks so much! That was extremely helpful! jeannie
 
  #7  
Old 04-30-08, 09:14 AM
Member
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Maryland zone 7
Posts: 1,716
Jeannie, you are so very welcome! I'd love to know what you end up choosing.

Newt
 
  #8  
Old 05-02-08, 10:33 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 80
I think I'm going with the dwarf mondo grass. That looked like the best pick for my situation. I'm really happy to have found it. Thank you Newt!
 
  #9  
Old 05-02-08, 12:26 PM
Member
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Maryland zone 7
Posts: 1,716
Jeannie, you are so very welcome! If it ever looks tattered in the spring, you can mow it down before new growth begins and it will resprout. I've never had to do mine and it's been planted for 6 years now.

Newt
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes
'