under spruce tree ground coivering plants??

xcaret(Calgary Alberta)June 7, 2010

I'm in Calgary and am looking for easy to grow plants that will grow under my spruce trees.I'd like something to choke out weeds etc.I don't have much directly under the trees but around them I have weeds etc.


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I have just planted spotted dead nettle (lamium maculatum) in front of my house and it looks really beautiful. I read somewhere that each little plant can end up becoming three foot wide quite rapidly, so it covers a lot of ground fast. The cute leaves completely shade the soil. So long as you don't let the weeds choke the lamium while it establishes, it will block out all else. In my case, they were planted about a month ago and they are really going crazy (one has tripled in size).

These plants are excellent, rather low groundcover (about 4") that prefer part shade to sun. They really light up my shaded front yard under a pair of 60+ years old silver maples. These guys do spread (stems touching the ground grow roots), but not fast enough so you lose control of them. They are also very low maintenance. They may need a bit of shearing in the fall to tidy them up, but that's about it. They are very easy to find in pretty much any garden center.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2010 at 2:51AM
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clairabelle(z4 Quebec)

Ajuga reptens (common name Bugleweed) is another good groundcover under conifers. I just love mine, it's a large-leaf version, dark green/burgundy mix, azur blue flowers in June (I think the variety is Big Boy or something like that)

Then there's vinca or pachysandra. The first is low groundcover, long vine-like, tiny purple flowers in May while the 2nd is large-leafed, glossy, small creme-colored flowers (nothing to write home about), slow grower. Both very hardy to our Northern winters.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2010 at 2:07PM
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tsugajunkie z5 SE WI

Sweet Woodruff and Lamium 'Herman's Pride' do well under conifers for me.


    Bookmark   June 8, 2010 at 10:48PM
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I agree with tsugajunkie--I have Lamiastrum galeobdolon "Herman's Pride" encircling a huge Blue Spruce and love it. Has variegated foliage so highlights the shade underneath the tree. Is about 8-12" tall so also shows up well because of that. Does well in shady, dry conditions (water well the first year) and is slow growing enough not to be invasive.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2010 at 10:54AM
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