Midwest Gardening forum→Wisconsin Ground Cover, Shade, Weed Control?

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St. Paul, Mi
Mar 22, 2020 9:37 AM CST

I live at the 45th parallel in WI. My wife and I bought a house that has a good chunk of wooded area that was full of buckthorn and sticker bushes. We have mostly cleared it, but I know it will all just grow back if we don't put something else there.

So, what groundcover suggestions do you have for a partial/most shade area that has pretty good soil that that drains a little slow? Also, I need a lot of it! So something that propagates quickly would be good.

I've heard of creeping flox, would that be a good idea? I'm mostly a veggie gardener so this is newer ground for me.


Name: Rj
Just S of the twin cities of M (Zone 4b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Mar 22, 2020 9:41 AM CST
Lamiums, some of which can be aggressive, vinca's, lily of the valley. Creeping phlox needs sun
Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.
[Last edited by crawgarden - Mar 22, 2020 9:41 AM (+)]
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Name: Amanda
KC metro area, Missouri (Zone 6a)
Roses Zinnias Region: Missouri Cat Lover Dog Lover Bookworm
Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: United States of America Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Mar 28, 2020 12:55 PM CST
I would look for natives. Lily of the valley is also aggressive and chokes out alot of the good plants.

Different ferns, wild ginger, Solomon's Plume - Maianthemum racemosum- likes wetter feet usually, mayapples, and there are some others.

A good source is https://www.prairienursery.com...

I would also call or email them if you have questions about certain plants they have.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Apr 14, 2020 4:18 PM CST
Something native would be awesome and beneficial, they have deeper roots that help with the excess moisture.

Golden Groundsel (Packera obovata) is pretty aggressive and hardy. Not sure how wet your conditions are compared to what they like. For reference we put it in the south facing yard (clay soil) as ground cover around some shrubs (some shade) and we are happy with it. One of the first things to be green thru winter. Looks particularly nice in masses, especially when in bloom. and of course it's good for pollinators. I'd estimate that the plugs grew 4X in size since we put them in a year ago, not sure, one of the fast growing plants for us that we have put in so far.

I bought ours at prairie nursery. I'm not allowed to post links as a new poster, but if you go to the website, you can use their search bar to find it. They also have a list of other groundcovers you can check out.

Though they don't have Golden Groundsel, Agrecol nursery in wisconsin is another good seller. I recommend taking a look. They sell reasonable price plugs trays or even mats with seeds sowed in. I've bought from them a few years in a row and emailed and called a few times for quick answers to questions.
Again, I can't post the link but they come up easy in a search.

Depending on how much room you have and ground to cover, possibly could also think about adding some under story shrubs like dogwood shrubs. Red twig dogwood can be nice.
[Last edited by BurtieR - Apr 15, 2020 9:10 PM (+)]
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NW Wisconsin (Zone 4b)
Region: Wisconsin Dahlias Butterflies
May 22, 2020 4:26 AM CST
I also recommend:

Prairie Moon Nursery out of Winona MN (I too can't post a link, too new here!)
I've had luck ordering from them in the past. Items arrive quickly and in good shape. I've ordered the wild ginger for a shaded area in my space. I've also ordered their wildflower seeds for a wedding gift that the couple say are now doing wonderfully and in bloom surprising them with what has come up.

Also with lily of the valley(or any plant for that matter) you may want to read up on toxicity to pets.
Every flower is a soul blossoming in nature. - Gerard De Nerval
[Last edited by ScarletTricycle - May 22, 2020 4:26 AM (+)]
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