Ask a Question forum: Creeping St. John's Wort (hypericum...)

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Name: Garden Gnome
Central NJ (Zone 7a)
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GardenNome
Jun 5, 2016 9:19 PM CST
I have two tiny creeping SJWs. The plant tab says that it will grow 8 to 10" high and produce yellow flowers in the summer. Can these be planted near a birch? The area around there seems very compacted, with lots of surface roots (from the white pines, birch? magnolia?). I like a more compact and "neat" behavior in plants. Will these things grow unruly or will they have a more rounded aspect?
Has anyone had success growing these and seeing the flower in conditions such as mine? Central NJ, Zone 7a.

Thanks!
Name: Daisy
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
Jun 6, 2016 10:38 AM CST
Creeping St. John's Wort is a full sun, low maintenance plant that spreads aggressively by underground runners. If you want a ground cover, this plant is good. It won't flower and will get leggy in shady areas though.
Name: Greg
Lake Forest Park, Washington (Zone 8b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Brinybay
Jun 8, 2016 10:38 AM CST
Here are some pictures of the ground cover variety of of SJW under and between a pine and willow tree. I wanted to pull it all up and replace it with some shrubs that would be more compatible with the area and easier to maintain, but my wife has a sentimental attachment to them because her mother planted them there 30 years ago (before we met). It has not been maintained all those years except for recently when I got tired of looking at some of the invaders, like some holly, boysenberry vines and one or two other unknown wild plant life.

I did some searching around about them and found some info from our local gardening celeb, Ciscoe Morris. He said when he was working at Seattle U., they used to take a mower to them at the beginning of the season (I guess he means spring) and they would still grow back by the end of the season (I assume that means late summer or fall). Seems backwards to me, mow them in the fall and let them winter and grow back the following spring, which is what I plan to do. My wife wants me to wait until after they bloom anyway. I have weed-wacked the front edge of it a few times in the past, and they did grow back, but now I want to get at all the unwanted invaders (boysenberry vines, et al) and clean out the accumulation of pine needles and willow leaves. For now I just did the front edge and around a rock that was almost completely hidden. There used to be daffodils in the mix, but I haven't seen them lately. SJW has some medicinal qualities to it (mood enhancer), but I'm not sure if it's this type of SJW, or the other taller type, or both. Either way, I'm not inclined to harvest it for that. It does flower at least some, but I've never paid much attention to it until now. I'll post another picture when I think it's at it's peak.

I don't know what the ground was like when they were first planted, but the ground you described sounds just like the area on the side of our house that I've been working on. Compact, dry, a lot of small roots.

Thumb of 2016-06-08/Brinybay/e85a0a Thumb of 2016-06-08/Brinybay/ceae5c


The picture below was taken about the same time last year at 1:30 in the afternoon. I think that's the most sun it gets, my next picture isn't until 4pm. By then it's entirely in the shade.
Thumb of 2016-06-08/Brinybay/748368

"Love the people who treat you right and forget the ones who don't." - Chiune Sugihara
[Last edited by Brinybay - Jun 23, 2016 12:55 PM (+)]
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Name: Garden Gnome
Central NJ (Zone 7a)
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GardenNome
Jun 9, 2016 8:12 PM CST
Thanks for your reply. I would very much like to see your hypericum in full bloom. Your site looks much like what I was thinking about. From your pictures it looks like the SJW can survive the deluge of white pine needles in the fall! I was debating between using these as a lawn alternative and a ground cover in an area mostly unused to foot traffic. Going by the size of it though, it is probably best as the latter. Appreciate your photos highlighting sun situation. Really helps!
Name: Greg
Lake Forest Park, Washington (Zone 8b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Brinybay
Jun 12, 2016 10:51 PM CST
I think this is pretty much how they look at their peak. Some of them are starting to wilt. It's apparent that they do need at least some sunlight. The one end that gets more sun has more blooms. I also noticed that the bus base where I work has SJW for ground cover. All these years of working there and I never noticed them until now.

Thumb of 2016-06-13/Brinybay/ebd41b Thumb of 2016-06-13/Brinybay/725aea


Thumb of 2016-06-13/Brinybay/f24996 Thumb of 2016-06-13/Brinybay/d696fa

"Love the people who treat you right and forget the ones who don't." - Chiune Sugihara
[Last edited by Brinybay - Jun 23, 2016 12:58 PM (+)]
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Name: Garden Gnome
Central NJ (Zone 7a)
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GardenNome
Jun 20, 2016 6:26 PM CST
wow! It looks beautiful, BrinyBay! Thanks for the pic! Can't wait for mine to bloom. I have yet to plant it in the ground though! It's been so hot and dry here!
Name: Greg
Lake Forest Park, Washington (Zone 8b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Brinybay
Jun 21, 2016 10:35 PM CST
They don't bloom for long, ours are all brown and wilted now. I imagine results vary depending on climate. I think DaisyL was right in that they will do better in full sun, probably with more and longer-lasting blooms, but they can do ok in partial sun areas.
"Love the people who treat you right and forget the ones who don't." - Chiune Sugihara
[Last edited by Brinybay - Jun 23, 2016 1:01 PM (+)]
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Name: Greg
Lake Forest Park, Washington (Zone 8b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Brinybay
Jul 6, 2016 10:55 PM CST
The SJW where I weed-wacked about a month ago is starting to grow back.

Thumb of 2016-07-07/Brinybay/4e263c

"Love the people who treat you right and forget the ones who don't." - Chiune Sugihara

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