The Q&A Archives: Looking for summer/ fall ground cover

Question: I have a shaded bed area that is currently planted with verbena (which isn't doing too well). I would like to plant a bright, colorful ground cover, (oranges, reds, purples, blues)preferably perrenial (annuals are ok though), that blooms into fall and likes mostly shade. Any suggestions?

I live in the Raleigh, NC area.


Answer: Here are a few suggestions: Ardisia (Ardisia japonica 'Chirimen'); 'Chirimen' is a JC Raulston Arboretum Selection; nonaggressive spreader; pink and white flowers in spring; red berries in winter; height 2 to 6". Ajuga (Ajuga reptans) blue-violet flowers in spring; recommended cultivars include: Bronze Beauty, Burgundy Glow, Rubra. Evergreen Candytuft (Iberis sempervirens); White flowers March-May; good for accent areas. Foamflower (Tiarella cordifolia); White flowers in mid-spring; prefers a moist site with high organic matter. Lamium (Dead nettle); Fast growing; variegated foliage; height 6 to 12 "; cultivars: Variegatum, White Nancy, Herman's Pride, Beacon Silver, Album, Shell Pink. You might also consider planting Liriope, Pachysandra, or Vinca. Best wishes with your landscape!

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