The Q&A Archives: Help!!

Question: I have a very large avocado tree and I want to plant a ground cover or some type of low growing plants under the tree. The area is very shady. I want plants that flower because I have a very showy garden, but if there are no flowering plants what else do you recommend? I previously had ivy under the tree, it did well, but I do not like ivy.

I have no pets, but I will walk on this area at harvest time.

Thank you for your help.

R. Thompson

Answer: Vinca minor (periwinkle) is a wonderfully attractive shade-loving groundcover. This vining plant has glossy deep green leaves and pinwheel shaped flowers in either blue, white, or pink. It's well-behaved (stays on the ground rather than trying to climb up tree trunks) and requires no maintenance.

Another suggestion is Trachelospermum jasminoides (star jasmine). This plant has glossy green foliage and an abundance of white, star shaped flowers all summer long. An added bonus is that the flowers of this plant are quite fragrant.

Both these vines will take occasional foot traffic without harm. Best wishes with your garden!

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