Hillside Plant Suggestions Please

patton(7b)July 3, 2005

I am looking for suggestions for planting groundcover on a hill. The area gets full sunlight and is somewhat rocky. I would prefer something that flowers and will stay pretty all year. I would appreciate any suggestions you can offer.



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I'd plant a dwarf variety of Nandina domestica that spreads and bears fruit. The non-flowering varieties seem to be more readily available. Mine are passalongs and may be 'Lowboy' as they spread, flower, and produce berries.

Here is a link that might be useful: cultivars

    Bookmark   July 6, 2005 at 7:48AM
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tweetypye(z8/sc AL)

If you're looking for a low growing ground cover, try ajuga. It scramples over and around rocks really good, blooms in eary spring, and the foliage is nice all year. There are several varieties with different foliage and blooms. I prefere the burgandy foliage with the blue blooms. Another idea, although it does not have significant blooms, is the ornamental blueberry. It is a fast spreader and the foliage is a beautiful. The leaves are so thick, they almost feel like plastic. Another suggestion is Lariope. It spreads quickly, blooms pretty lavender blue flower spikes and is low maintenance. If it is ratty looking in early spring, just take a weed eater, or lawn mower with the blades set high, and mow it down. It will come out a beautiful green very quickly. Anyway, these are just a few of the low growing varieties of groundcover that I grow. All do well in full sun and rocky areas.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2005 at 9:09AM
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Plant Vinca minor. It's beautiful with violet flowers in the spring. It only grows 2-4 inches high and trails and roots as it marches along. I planted it under trees in my back yard instead of grass and it's lovely. You do have to pay attention and pull it out when it goes where u don't want it to go. I have lots of it to give away. Where do you live? oh, yes. Mine cascades down a bank.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2005 at 8:05AM
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rosek(7b AL)

Ajuga and vinca prefer some shade. If you have blazing sun all day, try (Hedera)English, Persian, or Algerian Ivy (many varieties of leaf shape and color)for evergreen cover and roots that hold the soil, and plant daffodils underneath it for flowers. Other evergreen groundcovers could be Carolina Jessamine (Gelsemium sempervirens)& Lady Banks Rose, creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia), spreading juniper, wintercreeper eunymous (in several leaf colors), cotoneaster, . If it doesn't have to be evergreen: Boston Ivy & Virginia creeper(Parthenocissus), gold flame honeysuckle, akebia, cross vine(Bignonia), and there are some carefree perennials for that environment: purple cone flowers (Echinacea), black-eyed susan (Rudbeckia) day lilies, yarrow, four-o-clock, goldenrod, and tall ornamental grasses.

A rocky, sunny hillside would be a great place for Mediterranean herbs like rosemary, lavender, thyme, oregano, marjoram, chives, savory, sage, fennel, the artemesias,etc. They don't need good soil; just sun and good drainage, which your rocks and slope provide.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2005 at 3:50AM
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susangarrison(8b FL Panhandle)


    Bookmark   September 17, 2005 at 10:51PM
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I would also vote for Lantana if you want something that flowers all Summer. I have some of the old variety & some of the new hybrids & they are tough plants. Only thing is that if you want something that stays green all year, Lantana goes dormant in the Winter. It's a favorite shrub of mine anyway. Betty

    Bookmark   September 19, 2005 at 8:17PM
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I'd love some suggestions for what to try to plant under or around my magnolia tree. It's old, has a huge root system above ground, and of course creates a lot of shade. I'm not a fan of mondo grass or similar grasses, and I was thinking of finding a low hedge to create a border around the leaf droppings.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2008 at 2:44PM
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catbird(z7 AL)

I don't know anything about Persian or Algerian ivy, but I do know that English ivy is very invasive and hard to get rid of. It will cover and kill a tree if given a chance. It's not as bad as kudzu, but bad enought to avoid it. There is some in our back yard neighbor's woods and I have to fight it constantly to keep it out of our trees and yard.

As for planting under a magnolia tree, you might want to start a new thread on that if you want more people to see your question. I have a low spreading nandina which is surviving under the drip line of ours. Mondo or liriope will grow under the tree and help keep weeds out, but a leaf cover is good, too.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2008 at 12:37PM
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I discovered something called heuchera, and it is a fine plant. I have ajuga Mahogany (the burgundy leaves, the tall deep blue-purple flower spikes) around a pine tree and it gets full sun and thrives. I also recommend the leriope spicata, which will spread fast and cover a multitude of sins.

If you have a HOT slope, give the ornamental sweet potato a try. I planted them last year, and they took over a new flower bed on the exposed western side of my house next to the street. I used the chartreuse color. After they died down with cold weather, I cut off the ugly vines and discovered they had made really big TATERS, with PURPLE FLESH. I left those in the ground, not expecting them to do anything this year. Instead, they are coming up everywhere and doing the same thing all over again. My neighbor thinks they plan to cross the street and invade HER yard.

This is the bed in April before they did anything. Now they cover it, roses and all. (The limbs were from DH trimming trees before hurricane season started.)

    Bookmark   August 6, 2008 at 5:23PM
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