good groundcover for under hostas/ferns, invasiveness no problem

valereee(6a SW Ohio)May 17, 2005

I have a totally enclosed area (bounded by house walls and 3'-wide walkway and driveway) that is on the north side of my house and partially shaded by the house and a large dogwood. Some areas get no sun at all, some get noonday sun for maybe 3 hours at the height of summer. I'm going to put in hostas and ferns, and I'd like a groundcover too. I'd like something not too tall (under 4" would be ideal) that will spread and cover this area. Because it's so well bounded (the other side of the walkway is mowed grass and likely to stay that way) I'm not too concerned about invasiveness, though I don't want English Ivy. I'd like something that will keep weeds to a minimum, as I'd like the ferns to spread and don't want to use Preen if I can avoid it. Not a huge fan of periwinkle, though if that's the best choice I could go there, but I'd rather have something a little more uncommon.

Does anyone have any suggestions?

Thanks for any help!


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creatrix(z7 VA)

Creeping Jenny- Golden Moneywort. It stays very low- 2" max. It is very invasive, but does not climb into other plants.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2005 at 7:54PM
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Golden moneywart turns very yellow gold in sun and just slightly greenish in deep shade. Either way both the colors are appealing as long as the plant colors nearby do not clash.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2005 at 10:29PM
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pitimpinai(z6 Chicago)

I have Lamium with light pink flowers around my hostas as well as Sweet Woodruffs. They look great right now, especially the Lamium that appears luminous in the shade.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2005 at 10:36PM
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rivers1202(Z8a South Carolina)

I 2nd the lamium suggestion - I have it growing with my hostas and they co-exist beautifully. Some find it invasive, but I've never had a problem with it. I'll admit that it's a fast spreader, but it's easy to pull up if it goes where I don't want it to. And there are loads of choices when it comes to foliage color.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2005 at 2:09AM
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waplummer(Z5 NY)

I would not use any groundcover at all, but use leaf mulch.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2005 at 7:45AM
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waplummer(Z5 NY)

On second thought, while inspecting the garden this morning I have oak fern, Gymnocarpium dryopteris, covering some large patches.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2005 at 10:25AM
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chancygardener(6-NW AR)


    Bookmark   May 23, 2005 at 9:46PM
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puddle_of_mud(NC - zone 7)

I use Ajuga under my hostas.

Here is a link that might be useful: Ajuga

    Bookmark   May 24, 2005 at 12:34PM
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shapiro(5a Ontario)

Violets - I have both the scented (pink ones and purples ones too) and then the regular scentless purples, pinks, whites, yellows. Yes! they spread, even in my lawn, but they are very pretty especially when in bloom. The rest of the year, you have crowns of fresh looking green leaves.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2005 at 6:51PM
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