The Q&A Archives: What To Plant Under A Deck?

Question: What type of low growing creeping or spreading perennial can I plant under my deck that faces the south, but is shaded except at the very front edge. I would like for it to completely cover the area. Right now it is bare clay-like soil with a few weeds growing and some mint along the front edge where the sun reaches.
It is a VERY long deck that runs the length of the house. So the area underneath is a large area. There are railroad ties that are lined along the length that sets it apart from the lawn area.
I'd rather not have ivy but something that covers and spreads like ivy.
Thank you.

Answer: Ivy (Hedera helix) is not a bad choice for that situation, so you might want to look into some of the newer varieties that are being introduced; some of them are variegated and very decorative compared to the old plain Jane green. Another spreader to consider would be Vinca minor, again an old standby groundcover and evergreen but it will not climb. Another alternative with a grassy texture would be liriope, another would be hosta. There are some groundcover type hostas that spread underground and others are simply wide growing. These are available in a number of foliage patterns and textures besides plain green and can be very attractive in mass plantings. Some of the newest varieties can be expensive, but many of the older named hostas have come down in price and are inexpensive.

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