The Q&A Archives: Purple Winter Creeper

Question: We have purple winter creeper as a ground cover. It was planted about 3 years ago, but doesn't seem to be covering the ground as fast as we would like. What should we be doing to improve its growth?

Answer: When plants fail to thrive, it's usually because they're not getting the exposure, moisture, or nutrients they need. Purpleleaf Winter Creeper (Euonymus Colorata)grows equally well in full sun or light shade, in rich, moist, well-draining soil. You can dig your plants out, amend the soil with organic matter, and then replant. Organic matter, in the form of aged-compost, leafmold, or peatmoss, will help the soil retain moisture, make it loose and easy for the roots to penetrate, and provide nutrients to the roots of the plants. Simply dig the plants, spread a 3"-4" layer of organic matter over the soil, and dig it in to a depth of 6"-8". Then replant. Or, dig some organic matter into the soil unoccupied by plants. Then transplant your groundcover into the amended spots and amend the empty spots. Supply water to your plants on a regular basis, irrigating deeply to thoroughly wet the root area. Once your plants are given the encouragement of rich, moist soil, they should respond by sprawling out and quickly covering the area.

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