Ground covers - Knowledgebase Question

Arlington, Te
Question by JDavis57
January 25, 2010
What are the best ground covers for my area? How far should I plant apart? How do I keep the weeds out until they cover?

Answer from NGA
January 25, 2010


You didn't mention whether the site was sunny or shady so I'll make recommendations based upon the groundcover's tolerance to both:
Pachysandra Green Sheen
This is the most reliable cold-season groundcover for shaded areas and is ideal for planting under the canopies of established trees where little else grows. It?s also good for planting by on the north side of wall or on north-facing slopes. Green Sheen has extremely glossy foliage that sometimes looks too good to be real!

Pachysandra, variegated Japanese
An alternative (or addition) to the Green Sheen, the variegated Japanese thrives even in the dense shade of evergreens. It is low-growing and compact, retaining its beauty with white tinged leaves even in adverse conditions.

Dicentra Candy Hearts
This is a relatively new Bleeding Heart variety that produces masses of pendulous bright pink candy-like flowers. I would recommend that Candy Hearts be planted where they?ll get some partial sun for part of the day but they are shade-tolerant.

Ajuga Reptans ?Burgundy Glow?
A creeping, mat-forming evergreen perennial that does well in shady area but will also grow in morning sun and afternoon shade. It spreads rapidly to a width of 24 to 36 inches and a height of only six inches. The cream and maroon variegated leaves make a pleasant contrast in any garden.

Houttuynia cordata 'Chameleon' likes moist soil and full sun; Pigeonberry (Rivina humilis) grows in sun or shade; False Strawberry (Duchesnea indica) grows in full to partial shade.

You can plant the plants as close as 6" for fast coverage to as far apart as 12-18 inches if you don't mind waiting for them to fill in. Weeds can be pulled or hoed down until the groundcover established.

Good luck with your landscaping project.

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