robarba(z5 Chicago)May 17, 2005

I have an area under low trees/tall shrubs that is shady. I like Vinca Minor (blue flower) but think English Ivy may be a better choice. Which do you think would grow better in such conditions? Any other groundcover suggestions? Thank you.

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julie_mn(z4 MN Henn)

I would have to go with Vinca- as Ivy isn't hardy here- Vinca is easier to remove should you change your mind, I am told. The pretty blue flowers are an added bonus as well!

    Bookmark   May 17, 2005 at 10:51AM
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bean_counter_z4(Zone 4, Rkfd,IL)

Just something to think about. I have sweet woodruff as a ground cover. Pretty white flowers show up better in shade than blue. Spreads quickly, uniform height, not fussy about soil or moisture. Wild ginger is a nice groundcover too, like little hosta. Or you could put a patch of one here and another kind there.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2005 at 5:11PM
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joandaugh(Z5 Chicago)

I have some creeping phlox that grows very happily in a sunny spot. I don't know how it does in shade. I've just heard that it doesn't like to be too wet. I think it's kind of evergreen and then gets really green in the spring, with pretty lavendar flowers. Supposedly you can trim it with a weed wacker and it will rebloom. I'd be glad to share some as I think I'm moving mine to a smaller spot to make way for an herb garden. I'm just north of the city.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2005 at 10:01AM
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sheri(St. Louis/zn 6)

Also, consider mazus reptans. It's a tiny-leaved, low-growing growncover that blooms masses of purple flowers in the spring and sporatically all year.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2005 at 2:44PM
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katielovesdogs(z5b/6a Indiana)

Don't go with the ivy. It's terribly invasive and difficult to get rid of. I prefer sweet woodruff, lamium, and/or wintergreen. Maybe you could plant a couple of different groundcovers. Lamium spreads quickly but is easy to control.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2005 at 10:46AM
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IT MAY BE TOO LATE BUT DO NOT PLANT IVY. it is terrible to get rid of and creeps everywhere. I vote for vinca.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2005 at 2:17PM
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grandblvd03(z5 IL)

Triple the vote on NO ENGLISH IVY. You'll be pulling it out by the barrels.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2005 at 8:16AM
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wdheller(Z4 SE WI)

I have become a HUGE Sweet Woodruf fan. Planted some two years ago under a large Crimson Maple. It has filled in well, and is starting to inch beyond the bedline I established- my only complaint.

Very nice texture, and looks great with Coral Bells.


    Bookmark   June 26, 2005 at 11:08PM
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Oswegian(Z5 IL)

We planted five "groundcover" forsythia shrubs, and they have done very well. The flowers in the spring are as bright and welcome as their bigger counterparts, and they have a dense, light-green foliage afterward. They seem to take drought and clay soil very well. I haven't watered them much, even with the drought.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2005 at 10:29AM
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mrmorton(z5 IL)

I notice that no one has mentioned Liriope(Lilyturf). Works well in both sun and shade. Produces little blue flowers in August. Reaches a height of about 12". I would consider it a less formal groundcover, due to it's "grassy" appearance.
I agree with those folks who recommended Sweet Woodruff. I've been meaning to work in a patch of it somewhere.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2005 at 11:04AM
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I'm also amazed that no one has spoken of Hosta. The low varieties are often excellent as ground-covers because they fill in so quickly, but stay in a nice mound. Allen P. McConnell and Twist Of Lime are two adorable miniatures that I got for the first time about 2 years ago, and they have multiplied at a very healthy rate ever since!

    Bookmark   June 27, 2009 at 9:56PM
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