The Q&A Archives: Ground Cover for Moist Shade

Question: I have an area between the house and fence that is shaded so much that my Bermuda grass won't grow there. It is also quite damp because the back yard is graded to drain through this area. We have black clay soil. What could I plant in this area for gound cover? This isn't a traffic area, it won't be walked on.

Answer: First, I would probably try to loosen/lighten the soil a bit by working in some organic matter such as compost. It takes awhile, but it will do wonders in improving soil structure. Now, for selecting plants...I wasn't sure if you just want to cover the ground or you actually need plants specifically designated as ground cover. I chose perennial flowering plants because you said this area will not be walked upon. If you do need strict ground cover without flowering feature please let me know. You can try some or all of the following for this area : Aruncus (Goatsbeard), Astilbe (Meadowsweet), Cimicfuga (Bugbane), Filipendula (Queen of the Prairie), Lobelia cardinalis (Cardinal Flower), Lysimachia (Loosestrife), Mertensia (Virginia Bluebells), Primulajaponica (Japanese Primrose), Trillium grandiflorum (Wakerobin), Trollius (Globeflower). Most ferns thrive in damp shade, too. <br>

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