The Q&A Archives: Low Growing Ground Cover

Question: I live in zone 4 in Nebraska. I have one side of the house that has constant shade. The area is around the foundation of the house and had a big mound of dirt that slopes away from the house. I have also had a water problem on this side of the foundation, therefore the large mound of dirt. I would like to know what kind of low growing ground cover would work best in this shady area. Also, I don't want the cover to grow any taller than 3 inches tall. Thanks,
Julie in Nebraska

Answer: Although there are a number of plants that would grow in the shade, it is difficult to think of anything that would be so short. You might try golden creeping jenny, Lysimachia nummularia aurea, which will be a sort of pale green rather than golden in the shade. It spreads and will grow on banks, however it can sometimes become invasive if planted next to a lawn area. This is the only one I can think of that will be under three inches in height.

Although approximately six inches tall, Vinca minor would also be a good choice. It is evergreen, has bright blue flowers in the spring and is a traditional groundcover for shady locations.

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