Groundcover for Slope in Full Sun

TrillyFilly(5)March 14, 2012

My boyfriend and I bought our first house about 2 years ago. Off to the side of the front of our house is a small slope which is hideously covered in a thorny mess of something, overgrown grass, rocks, and so forth. It is about 35' long by 8' wide. This year I am planning to get rid of all the unwanteds and put a nice groundcover down instead. I am looking for something with the following criteria:

1. Perennial in Zone 5

2. Something that doesn't flower too brightly at any time. (For example, I don't want bright pink phlox to cover the whole slope)

3. Must take full sun (there is almost no shade available here)

4. Moderate to fast growth

5. I would prefer something that was evergreen and am interested in something that has a nice fall tinge to it.

6. Minimal maintenance.

Here is what I am looking at:

1. Purple wintercreeper : I like the quickness that it covers areas but am concerned that the purple/red will be far too bright in the fall and winter. I was thinking of putting some conifers interspersed but am not sure if the wintercreeper is too aggressive even for ths.

2. Ceratostigma plumbaginnoides/leadwort : I love the fall color on these and the blue seems muted enough. I've heard mixed reviews about whether this is actually hardy to Zone 5.

3. Vinca Minor : I like that it is evergreen, however, again I am concerned about the hardiness in zone 5.

I've also looked into various types of Ivy but do want something a little more interesting. Also, a monster of a plant is not a problem here. It is not connected to other flower beds. It will border the lawn but we can easily maintain that or put up a small border for containment.

Thank you!!

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1. Purple wintercreeper is only minimally "purple" in winter but can develop a number of problems and not a highly recommended plant for your area. And the quickness of its spread is kinda relative - even in my zone I do not consider it very fast.

2. Leadwort is not evergreen, the blue is rather intense and yes, it IS of doubtful hardiness for you.

3. Vinca needs at least part shade. But should be hardy.

I'd consider ajuga, cotoneaster or juniper. All are tough, durable plants hardy enough for your zone. Different ajuga varieties are available with colored foliage and most will have attractive blue flowers. Cotoneaster comes in both deciduous and evergreen forms, spreads rapidly and produces berries. Some cultivars do develop fall/winter color. Junipers don't do much other than cover the ground but they are excellent for sunny slopes and extremly low maintenance and drought tolerant once established. Just make sure you select true groundcover forms, like Juniperus horizontalis, as many others will grow far too tall and leggy. They do come in a range of foliar colors as well, from mint green to blue to golden yellow.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2012 at 5:27PM
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I grow vinca minor in full sun-no shade whatsoever all day facing south-zone 6 CT and it has done remarkably well. It is thriving. I didn't plant it (the previous homeowner did) but I'm glad she did bc I never would have thought to put it where it is bc of all the warnings saying no to full sun. Right now it has lots of little blue flowers but not smothered in them like my phlox. For the rest of the summer it will have sporadic flowering. I love it!
I give it a 'trim' late winter and it gets more lush/full every year. Good luck!

    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 10:40AM
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Carrie B(6B/7A)

Are any of the grouncover sedum (stonecrop) hardy for you? Many varieties grow quickly, some are evergreen, they're all drought tolerant and most prefer full sun. There are quite a few varieties, so you could mix & match for variation.

Here is a link that might be useful: groundcover sedum images

    Bookmark   April 22, 2012 at 9:15PM
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