Any info on gaultheria procumbens (wintergreen) appreciated!

saddleup(5a)July 4, 2009


I have a spot along my house that I would like to plant some groundcover. It is primarily shaded, and I would like evergreen, and really like creeping wintergreen. I love it for it's burgundy/green color, the berries, and being evergreen. Although it seems pretty expensive, considering it grows in the wild too.

I am hoping anyone can share what they know about this plant, and I'd love to see photos of what you have as well. I am reading that it is very slow growing, which is the only thing I don't like about it. But I love everything else! I can see myself throwing in some large rocks in the bed for focal points, and would hope, eventually, it would just grow in and hopefully keep out weeds in this area. Am I being too optomistic?

I like periwinkle as well, and see that it's fast growing, maybe a bit invasive, but I like the flowers, and it seems the flowering time is short. I'm not sure it would have the appeal to me without the flowers. With the wintergreen, there are other pleasing things, the change in leaf color eventually, the berries, I just love this plant.

Does anyone have photos they can share? I have two reasons to plant a ground cover here. To add something nice to look at in this spot, and hopefully, eventually, keep out weeds. I know periwinkle is much cheaper and fast growing, but it just doesn't seem to flower long enough...or does it? The wintergreen...I'm just in love! And just goes with the "woodland setting" of my yard.

I would love to hear anyones experiences with this plant! Thank you!

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bogturtle(SE NJ 7a)

The plant is native,locally, and makes a loose groundcover that would not, likely, exclude others. One plant I found, at the local supermarket as Christmas decoration had berries 4 times as big as the local ones. It was from some nursery in Canada. Has almost died out and never fruited since, although I put it in what I thought was an ideal spot. A beautiful and interesting plant.Other plants for similar conditions, rather hard to locate, would be Chimophila maculata, Michellia repens, and Galax aphylla. All extraordinarily beautiful. Also consider Asarum europaeum and some of the variagated native gingers. A. europaeum makes a tight groundcover.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2009 at 11:10PM
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darlene87(z7 Wa)

I have wintergreen, got a 4 in. pot, abut 15 yr. ago, and now it covers about 6 ft. I love it, never gets weeds there, plus I use the berries, put them in honey, then in the refigerator, and I have wintergreen honey. Another plant you could use is hosta. Some of them are quite inexpensive, and they do multiply. Some sedums do quite well in the shade and spread nicely. I have some, but they came with no tags. Ferns do nicely also, and I got mine free when they tore out houses to build.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2009 at 5:23AM
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