Plant Under Oak Trees In Zone 7 - Knowledgebase Question

Colts Neck, NJ
Question by guttenta
March 16, 2000
What kind of ground cover can I plant under my Oak Trees in zone 7 since grass will not grow. What about Chameleon Houttuynia? Thanks. Lee

Answer from NGA
March 16, 2000


The houttuynia is an attractively patterned plant, but in my experience it grows best in moist soil and in moist soil it can become an invasive thug. In drier soil such as you probably have under your tree, it may look "unhappy" and not display its full potential. You might consider the traditional evergreen ground covers of blue flowering periwinkle (Vinca minor) or English ivy (Hedera helix), perhaps in one of its more colorful forms. Another evergreen which can cover the ground or mound on itself like a shrub is the evergreen euonymous fortunei, also available in a number of foliage patterns. You might also consider hostas ( available in a myriad of patterns and colors and even now with fragrant blooms in some cases) or perhaps some of the lesser known plants such as epimedium which does well in dry shade once established. Some additional plants to consider would be lamium, ceratostigma, liriope and ajuga. I hope this gives you some ideas.

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