Purple winter creeper

Dallas, TX

I see where this was mentioned long ago and far away but thought it was worth repeating.

Do NOT plant purple winter creeper. If it lays 'flat' on the ground, it can be like having a bunch of trip wires. I guess if it's in an area that is never walked on or nearby, that wouldn't matter. But it matters to me. So I started cutting it back. Now it's no longer a mass of trip wires, but is growing tall. Really tall. It does look kinda pretty that way. But it still has to be cut b/c it will keep growing taller.

Here's the rub. If, when you're cutting it, you accidentally drop even a tiny bit of this stuff, it will root itself before you know it. Ack!

Perhaps you live in an area where this doesn't happen. I can guarantee that here in Dallas, TX, Zone 8, this is how purple winter creeper behaves. Considered yourselves warned.

Scott County, KY(Zone 5b)

Show us pictures of what you call purple winter creeper. It may be a different plant than what other gardeners in other places refer to.

I know Euonymus fortunei as Purple Wintercreeper. This is an extremely difficult to eradicate species, and has no trouble seeding itself in under the closed canopy of an established woodland, as well as in the residential garden. It forms a dense mat and through allelopathy, discourages and prevents growth of other terrestrial species.

A true thug, in every sense of the word...

Dallas, TX

Yes, I'm referring to Euonymus fortunei. From the comments it seems that some people are happy with this plant. I agree that it should be called a thug.

See http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/66847/

Scott County, KY(Zone 5b)

It is amazing that some don't look beyond their own satisfaction to consider what may go on outside their "silo" - to the detriment of all the good plants that would rather be left alone.

Dallas, TX

Viburnum Valley - two things. One is that I had no idea how invasive the winter creeper was. Should have done some homework first.

The other thing is that I just realized that your name references viburnums and that you live in Zone 5b. How do the viburnums handle cold weather? I thought a major freeze can wipe them out. Just curious as I'd like to plant some and that's what I've been told happened here one year.

Scott County, KY(Zone 5b)

I wasn't pointing a finger at you, rather at the comments in the PlantFiles entry you referenced.

There are a lot of different species of viburnum! I don't know which ones you are speaking of - but all I can assume is that they must be a tender species that doesn't tolerate cold/freeze. There are many native species of viburnum that range up into Canada - as well as introduced species - that do perfectly fine here. I am growing more than 125 different taxa here.

Take a look at the USDA Plants Database, and see which species are native into TX. Those species should do fine in Dallas. I think Viburnum rufidulum is native down that way.

You can probably grow more than a dozen species successfully there. You just need to snoop around a bit, and see which ones those are

Dallas, TX

Yes, the Viburnum rufidulum is native to TX and OK. It's grown mostly as an understory tree. There's Viburnum odoratissimum that grows more like a large evergreen shrub. It's the one that's very susceptible to freeze damage.

I know that there are lots of viburnums and I've been getting dizzy trying to find the mix of what I want - -evergreen, shrub not tree, not too fussy, not too susceptible to drought or freezes, and (here's where I really sound like Goldilocks) 'not too big and not too small but just right!'

I'm getting close. Just have to take a breather now and then so I don't drive myself crazier than I already am. :D

Scott County, KY(Zone 5b)

If you find that "just right" balance...patent it, sell the rights for millions, and then retire - and then you can shop for all the viburnums you could ever want.

Downingtown, PA

There is a lot of Purple Wintercreeper planted in the Chicago area as one of the most sold groundcovers, along with English-Ivy, Japanese Pachysandra, and Common Periwinkle. It is not escaping into nature there, but it is rampant growing and will grow into lots of other plants and will become a vine when hitting a tree or wall. Morton Arboretum had a mass of this as groundcover and vine on stone wall at their east side headquarters killed off by Euonymus Scale insects in the 1990's. I used to work as a groundsman around a hospital and at the east entrance their was a large mass of this that I had to cut down from the brick walls every so often and I used a high lawn mower with an attached bag to cut it down a few times each year.

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