Photo by Melody

Carolina Gardening: Need ground cover under tree

Communities > Forums > Carolina Gardening
bookmark
Forum: Carolina GardeningReplies: 28, Views: 36
Add to Bookmarks
-
AuthorContent
VickieP
Rutherfordton, NC
(Zone 7a)

March 18, 2006
6:16 PM

Post #2121212

I need to plant a fast-growing ground cover on a slope under an old beech tree. I just had some old, riipped plastic pulled out. I assume the plastic was an attempt to hold soil or mulch (no mulch there, however). I'm in Rutherfordton, NC up towards the mountains. Any ideas?
mysticmoonshine
Piedmont, SC
(Zone 7b)

March 23, 2006
11:40 PM

Post #2134292

How about Homestead Purple Verbena? Spreads fast and blooms like crazy for me. In fact I had to cut it back several times and each time it just bloomed again! Plant Files says it should be ok in your zone.
VickieP
Rutherfordton, NC
(Zone 7a)

March 28, 2006
1:17 AM

Post #2143701

Thanks...I am going to try that although it seems to do better in a more sunny spot than this one. I'm also going to try vinca because it's fast and I got a ton of it cheaply. Know anything about that one?
aisgecko
Raleigh, NC

March 29, 2006
12:28 PM

Post #2147216

Vinca is fast and will probably do wonderfully there. In fact, I find it does wonderfully everywhere and have to fight a bit to keep it in check. If the area is surrounded by grass which will get mowed regularly then it should stay in bounds, but watch out if it's next to perennial beds as it will likely try to creep in and take over. -Ais.
NCplantsman
Raleigh, NC
(Zone 8b)

March 29, 2006
2:46 PM

Post #2147521

Vinca can be aggressive and is non-native plant. If you wanted to go with a native species or less invasive ground cover consider some on this list at the gardenhelper.com

http://www.thegardenhelper.com/shadecovers.html

another good site for what you are looking for
http://www.ipm.iastate.edu/ipm/hortnews/1999/3-19-1999/groundcover.html

Hope this gives you some choices to best suit your needs.
rebecca30
Cary, NC
(Zone 7b)

April 19, 2006
3:26 PM

Post #2202590

How about creeping phlox?

Rebecca30
VickieP
Rutherfordton, NC
(Zone 7a)

April 20, 2006
7:44 PM

Post #2206031

I've discounted vinca. Doesn't get enough sun for creeping phlox. Local seedman recommened "creeping Charlie" which is variegated fast spreader that he says is easily removed if I change my mind. I'm sure it has another name.
jwsilverguy
Charleston, SC

April 25, 2006
11:45 AM

Post #2219030

If you haven't planted yet or are still looking for something different try something in the nettle family. Most are low growing, shade loving perennials requiring little maintenance. Varigated leaves and unobtrusive bloom make a pretty ground cover.
downscale_babe
surfside beach, SC
(Zone 8b)

April 26, 2006
10:04 AM

Post #2222360

What about Ajuga?There are many different colors and you get a bonus of blue flowers in the spring.I have them planted under live oak trees (now there's a challenge).They spread very quickly in sun but in the shade they are much slower and don't get carried away.
aisgecko
Raleigh, NC

May 2, 2006
12:03 AM

Post #2240115

Creeping Charlie (AKA ground ivy?) is not easy to get rid of. I am constantly battling it! It spreads on it's own but also seeds everywhere and resprouts easily from roots left in the soil. Please don't plant it. I don't know much about the variegated form, but I would find out if it's as bad before planting it. -Ais.
spartacusaby
Hendersonville, NC
(Zone 7a)

May 16, 2006
1:13 AM

Post #2283751

How about Lily of the Valley? Loves shade, spreads fast, even smells lovely. Does well in our area: I'm in Hendersonville.
missgarney
Cullowhee, NC
(Zone 6b)

May 16, 2006
7:36 PM

Post #2286165

Vickie, you don't say whether you want evergreen or deciduous. What about the surrounding area? Is it important to keep it contained, or can it be a rambunctious spreader?
CoreHHI
Bluffton, SC
(Zone 9a)

May 24, 2006
4:16 AM

Post #2311717

Can you grow Camellia there? Mine do great in deep shade under trees.
Fleurs
Columbia, SC

May 26, 2006
8:46 PM

Post #2319973

Glad to have found this thread because I'd like to plant some Lamium under my magnolia tree, but I'm not sure what the Lamium's moisture needs are. Any thoughts?
missgarney
Cullowhee, NC
(Zone 6b)

May 27, 2006
2:55 PM

Post #2322090

They like well-drained soil and it is said clay does not suit them. However, we have clay soil and it is invasive in two of our perennial beds (it was planted there by the previous owners).

I am so ambivalent about this plant. We have Lamiastrum galeobodolan ("Variegatum", I believe) and it looks lovely with our blue green junipers---but it grows into them, onto them, I'm constantly pulling it out. It would entirely cover them in a month, I bet. It was used properly in one place: a patch of mostly shady clay surrounded by concrete driveway and walkways. There, it can be contained and appreciated.

I would say if you want something that will really take off in part shade place, unless it's really soggy or 100% clay, use it.
missgarney
Cullowhee, NC
(Zone 6b)

May 27, 2006
3:04 PM

Post #2322110

P.S. Fleurs:

Ezra Haggard, in "Perennials for the Lower Midwest" says, regarding Lamiastrum galeobodolon, "...this vigorous runner performs impressively in dry, shady areas."
missgarney
Cullowhee, NC
(Zone 6b)

May 27, 2006
3:09 PM

Post #2322125

Haggard also recommends trying Hypericum calycinum, which is a creeping St. John's Wort, as ground cover for a dry shady area . I have no experience with this plant, but Mr. Haggard's book has been very helpful to me over the last decade, and his assessments are usually spot on.

ISBN0-253-33067-X is the paperback edition.
missgarney
Cullowhee, NC
(Zone 6b)

May 27, 2006
7:41 PM

Post #2322774

By the way, I have an experiment going in a trouble spot in my garden. It's on the mulch slope behind the house. It's clay and roots covered with a little mulch, mostly shady. Pretty steep. Anyway, I have transplanted 3 different ground covers from other places on the property, and I'm going to let them duke it out, and see who wins. Anybody want to bet who the winner will be?

Houttuynia cordata "Chameleon", Lamiastrum galeobodolon "Variegata", or Vinca?
Fleurs
Columbia, SC

May 29, 2006
9:11 PM

Post #2329155

My money's on the Houtuynia--
CoreHHI
Bluffton, SC
(Zone 9a)

June 2, 2006
5:31 AM

Post #2342610

Hey Fleurs I don't think Magnolia trees like anything growing right under them. Just from what I've seen.
ardesia
Saint Helena Island, SC
(Zone 9a)

June 2, 2006
9:49 AM

Post #2342782

The Houttuynia will surely win but Miss G, I think you will lose big time with that one. What a thug it is; you'll be fighting it for years to come.
missgarney
Cullowhee, NC
(Zone 6b)

June 2, 2006
11:18 PM

Post #2345406

ardesia, I know. The previous inhabitants planted it under some shrubbery and the first spring it came up I was revolted, but not because I knew what it was. I simply did not like the way it looked. But...there is no way I can pull it all up, I am not physically capable of that, and I have come to (begrudgingly) appreciate the way it can grow where nothing else can. So I have transplanted some of it to a really barren spot. I can't imagine it will get out of hand there. It's right next to the forest. It's planted in pure clay which is completely full of thick locust tree roots and huge rocks. I hope I don't have to eat my words.
Fleurs
Columbia, SC

June 3, 2006
12:45 AM

Post #2345675

Actually, I have two Magnolias in a small bed between the garage wall and the front sidewalk. They would have been perfect because they were supposed to be 'Little Gem' Magnolias (20' tall, 10' wide), but one of the trees is much larger than the other and doesn't flower nearly as much. Of course that's the tree whose leaves drop the most often. Anyway, we finally limbed up both trees because they seemed to be way too heavy-looking. Much less leaf drop, too.

Right now I have white yarrow and 'Becky' Shasta daisies in that bed, but I added just a few Ox-Eye daisies this Spring for early color. Alyssum on the edges adds a little winter color, too, joined later by some 'Blue Hill' Salvias. The yarrow probably doesn't get enough sun there because it really flops.

Something about that bed bothers me, so I'll probably add a Yucca or Agave, something that won't mind the root competition and the sandy soil we have. Because the Magnolias are limbed up, sunshine does reach the bed, but shifts throughout the afternoon.
missgarney
Cullowhee, NC
(Zone 6b)

June 3, 2006
2:03 PM

Post #2347356

Fleurs, your comment about magnolia leaves dropping reminded me of something I saw in the last "Garden Design" magazine. They had several innovative "floral arrangements" by artists, and they were all so beautiful and original, so striking. One of them was a dense, sloping stack of magnolia leaves (with the rusty brown underside upward), and, sandwiched between two of the layers were yellow rose blossoms. It might sound weird, but it was really gorgeous.
VickieP
Rutherfordton, NC
(Zone 7a)

June 10, 2006
1:12 PM

Post #2373948

The Creeping Charlie has not taken off, but the area under the tree is rapidly being covered by a small-leaf plant that looks like a miniature sedum and is a light green. I should know what this is but don't. I remember seeing it in old-time gardens. It was here when I moved here evidently. Any ideas?
Fleurs
Columbia, SC

June 10, 2006
6:37 PM

Post #2374946

Could you show us a picture?
aisgecko
Raleigh, NC

June 11, 2006
1:25 PM

Post #2377311

I can vouch for hypericum calycinum for dry shade, but you need to contain it if it will be near perennial beds. It seems to spread indefinately and very fast. I have it contained with a simple black plastic edger. -Ais.
VickieP
Rutherfordton, NC
(Zone 7a)

June 14, 2006
6:25 PM

Post #2390037

I had not considered hypericum c...and have another spot for it. Thanks for reminding me!
scbs471
Jackson, SC
(Zone 7b)

June 21, 2006
4:32 PM

Post #2416385

I planted "Irish Moss" around one of my trees this spring and it is doing great. Beautiful deep green with very tiny white flowers. So far I am pleased with the look, feel, and spread.

You cannot post until you register, login and subscribe.


Other Carolina Gardening Threads you might be interested in:

SubjectThread StarterRepliesLast Post
Helllo Snoutherner 16 Apr 13, 2007 8:22 PM
Beautiful day Rosykay 14 Mar 20, 2009 11:32 PM
Flame azalea spartacusaby 20 Jun 21, 2007 4:17 AM
What is it? CarolinaTracer 6 May 5, 2007 1:05 PM
Hardiness success stories Tropicanna 102 Oct 16, 2007 7:29 AM


We recommend Firefox
Overwhelmed? There's a lot to see here. Try starting at our homepage.

[ Home | About | Advertise | Media Kit | Mission | Featured Companies | Submit an Article | Terms of Use | Tour | Rules | Privacy Policy | Contact Us ]

Back to the top

Copyright © 2000-2014 Dave's Garden, an Internet Brands company. All Rights Reserved.
 

Hope for America