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Beginner Landscaping: Need recommendation

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Umgowa
Roswell, GA

October 6, 2012
9:19 AM

Post #9297461

I am planting shrubs in the front of my house. The area is total shade. I plan to put this item in front of my azaleas. I need a low-growing ground cover, an evergreen, that spreads out and will not grow tall. I live in the Atlanta area. Preferably something that requires minimal care. My local nursery recommended Leucothoe, but I think that would grow too high. Do you have any recommendations for a good low-growing ground cover that loves shade, maintains some kind of leafy presence all year round and requires minimal care? Thanks.

This message was edited Oct 6, 2012 11:57 AM

This message was edited Oct 6, 2012 12:53 PM
LysmachiaMoon
Waynesboro, PA
(Zone 6a)

October 8, 2012
6:01 AM

Post #9299299

I'd say Pachysandra (Japanese spurge) would be a good choice. It's a common groundcover, so you should have no trouble finding some. It does well in shade, it's evergreen, and it doesn't get tall. From my own experience, the old saying "First year it sleeps, second year it creeps, third year it leaps" is true for Pachysandra. The first year you plant it, it will just establish itself, the second it will start to spread, and the third (with adequate water of course) it will really start to fill in the area.

themoonhowl

themoonhowl
Prairieville, LA
(Zone 9a)

October 8, 2012
6:25 AM

Post #9299338

Being in Georgia, you could use dwarf azaleas as they do well in shade in the south. Some cultivars stay very close to the ground and require very little care once established.

http://www.greergardens.com/evergreen.htm

http://azaleas.org/index.pl/azculture.html#sun
dax080
Cedar Rapids, IA
(Zone 5a)

October 8, 2012
7:44 AM

Post #9299446

Liriope also meets your needs, and is a beautiful foliage. It starts out as a perfect mound, and eventually fills in -- also called liliyturf -- Dax

Here it is in fall woodland garden-- with the small purple plumes -- you can see examples of both green and variegated foliage --

Thumbnail by dax080
Click the image for an enlarged view.

shune
Burien, WA
(Zone 7b)

October 8, 2012
9:10 PM

Post #9300241

Vinca Minor, some consider it invasive. I don't. I have it in dry shade, it's evergreen but doesn't bloom well there.
helenchild
Decatur, GA

October 12, 2012
7:54 PM

Post #9303604

Liriope is tough, spreads into your lawn, chokes out other plants and is impossible to kill. I don't recommend it. Vinca minor will spread but is easy to pull up if you have a change of heart. Liriope is very difficult to remove.
dax080
Cedar Rapids, IA
(Zone 5a)

October 13, 2012
6:58 AM

Post #9303821

Wow! Must be the zone 6 of Georgia, up here in 4/5, liriope is much better behaved! Here is a pic of variegated pachysandra in December, when everything else is gone --

Thumbnail by dax080
Click the image for an enlarged view.

themoonhowl

themoonhowl
Prairieville, LA
(Zone 9a)

October 13, 2012
12:35 PM

Post #9304041

Umgowa, have you seen the Black Mondo Grass? (Dwarf monkey grass) It is evergreen and will grow in light shade...stays under 8-10 inches and is very low maintenance.

http://www.monrovia.com/plant-catalog/plants/1005/black-mondo-grass.php#.UHnBo1GOyE4

Found out it is available at the big box stores too.
Umgowa
Roswell, GA

October 17, 2012
11:30 AM

Post #9308054

Great suggestions . . . Thanks everyone!

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