The Q&A Archives: Groundcovers for High Elevations

Question: My son owns property in southern Colorado at over 6,000 feet. He is looking for ground cover for ground with a lot of clay that gets trampled by elk. Do you have any ideas? Sheila Barrows Reston, VA

Answer: I've heard of deer problems in the yard, but elk? A few good groundcovers to try at that elevation would be spotted nettle (Lamium maculatum), purpleleaf wintercreeper (Euonymous fortunei) and periwinkle (Vinca minor). I'm not sure which are "elk- proof", but at least these will grow at that elevation. These need shade, but for a sunny spot try Oenothera (evening primrose) or Anthemis tinctoria (marguerite).

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