The Q&A Archives: Lawn

Question: We have two areas in our yard that are very shady.What grass or ground cover should we use.

Answer: Grasses really won't grow in the shade so ground covers are your best bet for those shady areas. Here is just a small sample of the many groundcovers for shady sites.

Bugleweed, Ajuga reptans, has low-growing, attractive leaves in rosettes. It spreads by above ground stolons. It prefers moist, well-drained soils in heavy shade to full-sun. Protect bugleweed from winter winds. It tends to die out when plants get crowded. However, there are usually enough plants left to repopulate the area. There are many different cultivars.

Canada Wild Ginger, Asarum canadense, has heart shaped leaves and forms a mass up to six inches tall. Wild Ginger is a native plant excellent for partial to deep shade. European Ginger has a glossier leaf.

Sweet Woodruff, Galium odoratum, is a delicate deciduous groundcover that forms a mat of bright green leaves. It has small, white flowers in late spring and prefers moist, well-drained soils in medium to deep shade. It is not aggressive and forms a nice collar around other plants. It is often sold as an herb.

Japanese Spurge, Pachysandra terminalis, is evergreen with whorled leaves on upright stems. It's best in full shade in moist, well-drained soils with lots of organic matter. It performs best if it is protected from winter winds. Japanese spurge does well in heavily shaded areas under shallow rooted trees.

Barren Strawberry, Waldsteinia ternata, forms mats of strawberry-like evergreen foliage with glossy, bright green leaves and yellow flowers. It's easy care in partial shade to full-sun.

Hope one of these suggestions is just right for your landscape!

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