ground covers for shade - Knowledgebase Question

Valparaiso, In
Question by Lsknol4
May 8, 2010
P;lease suggest some perennial ground covers for shade AND that are rabbit and deer resistant.
I live in Zone 5, Indiana

Answer from NGA
May 8, 2010


Here are a few suggestions: Periwinkle - Bluish-purple flowers bloom on periwinkle in the spring. Growing a few inches tall, it will quickly spread, covering a garden area with its lush green leaves. Periwinkle can grow in full sun to full shade, though it will not flower as profusely in the shade. This ground cover thrives from zone 4 to 9 and needs constantly moist soil.

Alpine Carpet Juniper -
This evergreen groundcover grows to only 8 inches tall with bluish-green foliage. Though the growth is slow, it spreads to 3 feet wide. Juniper is a hardy shrub, thriving in many growing conditions. It can be used on slopes for erosion control and planted where the soil is poor. The berries of the juniper are used to flavor food and are a natural insect repellent. All varieties of juniper are deer resistant. Others include blue chip juniper, growing to 12 inches tall but spreading 8 feet wide.

Boxwood (Buxus sp.) - 2-3' tall, zones 4-8, full sun, partial shade and/or full
shade. Here's a deer-country dream come true! The woodsy, natural form looks
great as a rounded contrast in a natural setting or as a formal edging. One of the
few evergreens that the deer don't eat.

Bicolor Barrenwort (Epimedium x versicolor sulphureum ) - '12" tall, to 36" wide,
zones 5-8, shade or part shade. Bicolor Barrenwort. Clusters of small yellow
flowers top young, red-flushed leaves in spring. Great groundcover for dry
shade! Leaves stay green through winter. Slowly spreads by rhizomes.

Sweet Woodruff (Galium odoratum) - 8" tall, zones 4-7; partial shade to
shade. Woodland ground cover spreads by rhizomes. Star shaped
scented leaves encourage the deer to pass by. Small white flowers in

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

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