The Q&A Archives: Hardy Groundcover

Question: I have an extremely naughty dog who loves to tramp thru the landscape. I am looking for some groundcover that might possibly stand up to being walked thru. I live in Chicago with a south exposure and would appreciate any suggestions you might have...thank you

Answer: Here are a few suggestions - the first two will put up with more "foot" traffic than the others:
Creeping Thyme (Thymus serpyllum) Low growing creeper. Suitable as a lawn substitute in small areas and for planting between stepping stones. Prefers full sun to very light shade and needs well-drained soil. Purple flowers in late spring to late summer. Space 8?12 inches apart. Perennial. Hardy in Zone 4.

Creeping Speedwell (Veronica repens ?Sunshine?) Creeping groundcover growing 2?3 feet tall. Exceptional golden yellow foliage. Prefers sun to very light shade in well-drained, moist soil. Light blue flowers in late summer. Space 8?12 inches apart. Perennial. Hardy in Zone 4.

Red Dragon Persicaria (Persicaria microcephala ?Red Dragon?) Vigorous clump that grows 10?24 inches tall and 36 inches across. Unique foliage color. Suitable for full sun to moderate shade in regular garden soil. Tolerant of moist soils making it useful around water features. Red stems and small white flowers offer contrast. Space 12?18 inches apart. Perennial. Hardy in Zone 5.

Allegheny Spurge (Pachysandra procumbens) Reliable, sturdy, clump forming, dense groundcover. Grows 6?12 inches tall and spreads to 4 feet across. Differs from Japanese pachysandra in that the foliage is larger and bronze green that takes on red hues in the fall. Prefers light to dense shade. Space 8?12 inches apart. Perennial. Hardy in Zone 4.

Sedum (Sedum sp.) A wide collection of succulent leaved plants for full sun to very light shade. Drought tolerant. Height ranges from three inches to two feet tall. Wide range of leaf colors and textures. Early summer flowers range from yellow to red. Does best in well-drained locations in rocky soils with little fertility. Space 12-18 inches apart. Perennial. Hardy in Zone 3.

Best wishes with your new groundcover!

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