Drought-tolerant, full-sun groundcovers?

karenfharr(z9B/FL)June 5, 2008

Help!

It's 95 every day, no rain for a month, only allowed to water once a month, and need to replace brand-new sod that has died.

Will probably wait for fall or if summer rains start.

One area is between street, sidewalk, and driveway... totally enclosed by concrete, so not too worried about spreading beyond where I want it to be, and it gets no foot traffic.

And I want it to grow to no higher than about a foot... preferably lower.

I searched online and came up with a couple mail-order companies that had search tools for their products, and came up with 3 very interesting plants supposedly for those conditions: Dragon's Blood Sedum, Phlox, and Coreopsis

but I don't know... coreopsis dried up on me once (or maybe just died for other reasons), and I thought phlox liked shade and water. The sedum looked spectacular in the photo and it says it only gets to 5 inches height.

I really like Muhly grass, but it's expensive (this area is ~ 25 x 10 feet, and I have several other areas of about the same size, so I need lots of plants). It's also a bit higher than I had in mind, but pretty airy, so don't care so much if it's a little high. Coonties are really nice, but really expensive and can get quite big.

Hope someone can help,

Karen

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redneck_grower

These have worked for me in the sun, with little water, though they do need an establishment period:

Sedums, of course
Fragaria chiloensis, Beach Strawberry
Potentilla neumanniana, Spring Cinquefoil
Delosperma cooperii, an Iceplant

I may think of others.

Cheers

    Bookmark   June 6, 2008 at 10:37AM
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karenfharr(z9B/FL)

Thanks!
Do you know how sedums do when they DO get a lot of water? The information that I found only said that they were drought tolerant, liked well-drained/sandy soil, but didn't mention if it would survive heavy rainy periods that we also get here certain times of the year.
I'm not familiar with the other 3 you mentioned... have to look them up to see what they look like, if they're supposed to be OK in zone 9B, rainy season tolerance, etc.

Also... maybe I should start a new post for this... What about ground covers to replace turf grass in areas that DO get foot traffic, but aren't in full sun all day? I was shown "perennial peanut" in small pots today at a nursery, but need to go look at an established "lawn" full of it(I know someone in this area to visit who has it.)

Karen

    Bookmark   June 6, 2008 at 10:52PM
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redneck_grower

My Sedum's do quite well with lots of water, as long as the soil drains reasonably.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 11:16AM
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karenfharr(z9B/FL)

Thanks for your attentive input. I'm not so sure that your zone 8a experience will translate to my zone 9b, though. Someone just told me today that sedums died on her in our area in the summertime, since we're the hot edge of the range that they're supposed to do well in.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 11:39PM
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hemnancy(z8 PNW)

You might have better luck on the Florida gardening forum-
http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/flgard/

Or walk around some established neighborhood with good landscaping and look for a plant that is successful in a similar situation, and find it in a nursery.

Sedum lineare, which has small needle-like grey-green leaves and yellow flowers, propagates faster and makes a denser mat for me than Dragon's Blood. Dave's Garden seems to say it will grow in your zone.

http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/58017/

Here is a link that might be useful: google images

    Bookmark   June 12, 2008 at 7:09PM
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karenfharr(z9B/FL)

Great link! Thanks!
Oh, and I did post after this in FL gardening forum... everyone says no luck with sedums in the summer with the heat and rain together, and that we're really 10A in Clearwater, not 9B like the zone maps say.
But the Dave's gardening site does make it sound promising for that particular variety of sedum.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2008 at 9:47PM
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TricianKilo

I have been removing my grass and replacing it with sedum of all kinds. I am trying all different kinds from different resources and am not finding much information out there. In my area I feel like a pioneer and have been getting lots of compliments from neighbors.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2013 at 12:51AM
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TricianKilo

I have been removing my grass and replacing it with sedum of all kinds. I am trying all different kinds from different resources and am not finding much information out there. In my area I feel like a pioneer and have been getting lots of compliments from neighbors.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2013 at 12:52AM
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princessgrace79(8 PNW)

I'm a big fan of sedums - some of the lowgrowing stonecrops will grow on anything.. I do find they need a BIT of water when not grown in dirt - I have some growing on walls and those seem to need a little bit of water or they get patchy. You could mix in some more ornamental sedums for interest/texture - like autumn joy?

    Bookmark   September 3, 2013 at 8:23PM
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botann(z8 SEof Seattle)

I grow Sedum 'Alba' on stumps with just a shovelfull of topsoil.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2013 at 8:03AM
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