The Q&A Archives: ground covers

Question: We planted ground cover on our shaded terrace. Within a few days rabbits had totally eaten all of them. Any suggestions? Also what native wildflower would grow well in this mostly shaded hill?

Answer: Rabbits, woodchucks and deer can all damage plantings. You might try one of the spray on or granular repellents, use one labeled for the animal that is causing the problem. Or, consider fencing them out using fencing designed to exclude that particular animal. Here is information about various animal problems. Scroll down to find the animal you are looking for.

There are many different native plants you could grow, depending on whether you want a shrub or perennials or a groundcover. Your choice should be based on the soil conditions and moisture conditions in that area and also on how "authentic" you wish to be in terms of selecting something native to the local area or simply something that will naturalize and grow well for you once it is established.

If you truly want a native wildflower, you may be able to identify what is already growing there and encourage any natives while removing any exotic or invasive exotics that may have arrived in the interim. Your local botanical gardens and/or nature centers may have helpful information for you as well.

Good luck with your project!

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