The Q&A Archives: Shade-Loving Groundcovers

Question: I live in Worcester, MA, (Zone 5) and I have a lot of tall pines on my property. The soil moisture is normal to dry and it has, obviously, a high acid content and a lot of rotting pine needles mixed in. As far as sun goes, it is partial to full shade. Are there any attractive groundcovers that thrive in these conditions? How about shrubs, evergreens, bushes etc... Sorry for the length of this question, but I can't seem to find anything to grow there. E. Quintiliani Worcester, MA

Answer: You have a perfect spot for azaleas and rhododendrons. They love acid soil and they are evergreen. Put then in the partial shade spot. Mountain Laurel (Kalmia latifolia) as well as either Mountain Pieris or Japanese Pieris are other good choices. All of these are evergreen shrubs. Leucothoe likes full or partial shade. For ground covers try Creeping Wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens) or Pachysandra. Your local nursery should be able to give you some more ideas!

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