The Q&A Archives: lawn substitute

Question: I know its winter but is there anything I can plant in a lawn that has redwood trees next to it because my lawn doesn't do well there. It grows a little and is green but is always sickly. If possible I would like to plant something that is capable of taking over the lawn and is tough so if I walk on it it won't keel over and die. Thanks as always ...Dave

Answer: It's difficult to find plants that will grow successfully under redwoods, especially one that you can walk on with frequency. Most groundcovers struggle beneath redwoods because of the dense shade, the acidity, and the dry conditions (redwoods have lots of surface roots which tend to soak up moisture). I can suggest only a few plants: wood sorrel (oxalis), pachysandra, lamium, wild ginger and vinca minor. Both vinca and pachysandra will grow 1-2 feet high, which makes walking through them difficult; lamium and oxalis will tolerate some foot traffic, but not much. Wish I had more suggestions!

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