The Q&A Archives: Ground Cover Dying

Question: Our ground cover died in certain spots over the summer. We watered 3x weekly for 20 minutes, with sprinklers. It has green leaves the size of a thumb on a trailing type base. It has white flowers with purple underneath the petals. When we had a lot of rain we got a lot of new growth. What type of ground cover is this? How should it be taken care of? If it has to be watered daily then it would make more sense money wise to replace it! What are we doing wrong?

Answer: A popular ground cover with the flowers you describe is called Vinca minor. It's usually carefree, looks best in shade, but will take full sun. Depending on your soil type, it may not be getting the deep watering it requires. Turning on the sprinklerfor 20 minutes at a time may be only wetting the surface of the soil. Next time you water, take a moment to dig down into the soil to see how far the water has penetrated. Water until the entire root zone is moist. That will give you a clue as to how long you need to run your sprinklers. Most established plants need about one inch of water per week; you might be better off running the sprinkler just once a week for a longer time. Check to make sure that you're watering the entire root zone and not just the top of the soil. Don't give up!

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