Flowering evergreen ground cover

whaas_5a(5A SE WI)February 15, 2014

Doesn't have to be evergreen but its preferred. It will be full sun and dry with plenty competition.

Perhaps there isn't anything out there that will work but giving it a try.

I started with Vinca minor Bowles thinking it wasn't as invasive and easier to control within an isolated bed, but perhaps not.

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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)


    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 3:16PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

sedums ... cactus like with water .. indestructible ... even to the point of walking on them in pathways ...

you can also get addicted to hens and chicks ... also indestructible .... Sempervivum, i think ...

and best of all ... if you have local garden friends.. they are the types of things they will grab a handful and simply hand them to you ...

i have one sedum.. that is a bit hyperactive.. in that i find it in more places than i ever put it ... i often wonder if the kids carried it around when they were smaller ... but most are not that aggressive ... and very shallow rooted ... [its the lime green one.. lol.. dont ask me its name.. i cant collect everything by name.. lol ... someone handed it to me on a garden visit.. most likely]...


    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 9:08AM
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Wolly yarrow

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 10:05AM
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diggerdee zone 6 CT

I second the sedum. Beautiful in and out of bloom, takes the heat and dryness, and some of them turn a nice burgundy color in winter.


    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 8:59PM
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"with plenty of competition" . . . from what? tree roots, shrubs, tall perennials, other low growers? I've found that the lower growing sedums don't much like competition from tall perennials.

Some of the newer Ajugas don't spread as aggressively as many of the older varieties.

I have Chrysanthemum weyrichii in a garden with other taller perennials and it spreads without overwhelming taller perennials, but doesn't spread to under the shrubs.

Some of the flowering thymes might well work.

If taller groundcover plants are OK, you could look at some of the Nepeta cultivars.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 9:35PM
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laceyvail(6A, WV)

Neither Ajuga nor Bearberry want it dry, which is the what the OP said she had. Groundcover geraniums like 'Biokovo', 'Karmina', (but not G. maccrorhizum) will do well in dry sun and will be semi evergreen. Flowering thymes will do very well.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 5:58AM
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whaas, here is a pic of the above mentioned Geranium cantabrigiense Biokovo and the pink variety Karmina. Love this ground cover. Mine gets lots of competition, but doesn't seem to mind. It slowly expands, easy to control if needed. The flowering time is rather short in June, but the foliage is attractive all year long.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 1:55PM
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Another ground cover that I like is Persicaria Affinis Border Jewel. This is at best semi evergreen. There will be a lot of brown to gently rake out in early spring...or just let it go as the new green growth very quickly covers it over. The flower spikes show up in May and continue popping up till frost. They are white first and turn pink to rusty red as they age. Your conditions should be right for this Persicaria.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 2:06PM
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Veronica umbrosa 'Georgia Blue'. Very nearly completely evergreen, quite drought tolerant, blooms for an extended period with electric blue flowers. Foliage takes on reddish burgundy tones in cold weather. Spreads rather sedately as well.

Any of the creeping thymes will work also. And if by 'bearberry' we are referring to Arctostaphylos, that is an extremely drought tolerant plant although maybe not the showiest of bloomers. And while not the most evergreen choice, Hypericum calycinum or St. John's wort will tolerate full sun, drought and blooms like a trooper.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 5:15PM
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Veronica prostrata is beautiful and evergreen.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 5:57PM
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laceyvail(6A, WV)

Re the drought tolerance of Arctostaphyllos--I think that what is considered drought tolerant in the Pacific Northwest is not generally drought tolerant in the rest of the country. Certainly it would not tolerate what is generally called drought conditions here. It wants moist but well drained, preferably sandy soil.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 6:40AM
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Campanula UK Z8

my fall back response - epimediums. There are many.....and all are beautiful. Not totally evergreen (old foliage needs cutting back in February.....but rapidly regrows).

    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 12:34PM
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mjc_molie(z6 CT)

Also Veronica 'Waterperry' , a lighter blue compared to 'Georgia Blue', spreads throughout my garden but is easy to control. I've found it likes all conditions from strong sun to shade. It gets little water from me and no special care .... it often blooms very late in the winter if in sun, but not this year when it's covered in snow.

My most prolific Sedum is Sedum fosterianum 'Silver Stone'... spreads readily in full, dry sun... has yellow flowers on tall stems ... needs no care.


    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 2:07PM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

To my surprise several very nice selections to take a look at. Thanks for all the suggestions. .

Sedum certainly is a contender as I have Vera Jaemeson that I could divide. Apparently this sit took my pic from a couple years ago? Its not even a nice pic, lol

gazania, very nice pics! Certainly two attractive choices I haven't considered. Karmina has always been a plant I wanted to use, would have never pegged it for droughty conditions though.

nhbabs, I was thinking about using Cat's Meow actually.

Do any of the Veronica, like Veronica umbrosa 'Georgia Blue' have mildew issues? I've always had issues with the foliage of Veronica going crappy on me.

Any suggestions on epimediums cultivars?

Thiis is going to be a small bed with an Autumn Fantasy Freeman Maple (needed reliable red fall color) then there would be a dwarf winter gold mugo pine. The ground cover is just added interest to maintain the shape of the bed. I don't want to be mulching every year anymore.

The ground cover will be subjected to south and west sun. Grass has a hard time staying green during the summer its so dry. I guess the groundcover needs to be able to grow on shallow soils because of the root competition of the maple.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 8:29AM
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growlove(zone4 Ia.)

I wouldn't say Iberis is evergreen as it does suffer a bit in our winters but in Spring it is covered with white flowers and stays a beautiful green all summer. It grows wider with age. I lay branches down and sprinkle a bit of soil over them till they root and can be transplanted to other areas. I have never lost an Iberis even in our cold Iowa winters. Mary

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 7:16PM
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Veronica Georgia Blue and Waterperry Blue are great plants. Neither has had any foliage issues at all in my garden. I have had problems with other Veronicas, almost all of which are no longer in my garden due to foliage issues and poor bloom.

This post was edited by nhbabs on Tue, Mar 4, 14 at 19:21

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 10:03PM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

I ended up going with Sedum Cherry Tart for a blast of purple. Figured with the western exposure should still get good sun once the tree starts to produce shade....which could be 20 to 30 years down the road.

Lots of other great suggestions that I can work with on other areas that need groundcovers. Next year will be the year of groundcovers for me.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2014 at 9:17PM
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Here's a good groundcover thread I bookmarked years ago and refer to from time to time. A quick peek popped up dianthus as a possibility for your spot.


    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 8:49AM
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jujujojo_gw(6b 7a)


    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 9:53AM
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I have a friend who grows leafy spurge and it seems to thrive...with competition and with very little care. (I live in zone 7) I wish I had a place to plant it! There are annual varieties, but I'm talking about the perennial type that is a perennial in zones 4 to 9. It's hard to decide if the blossoms or the fall color is more beautiful to see.

Here is a link that might be useful: Leafy perennial spurge

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 10:38AM
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