Keeping Lamium Under Control

mrgreenjeans_md7May 4, 2006

I want to plant lamium in a narrow (28'x3') bed along the side of my house which will include hydrangea, azalea, astilbe, hosta and some fern. How do I keep the lamium from invading into my lawn and will it choke out any of the other things that I'd like to plant? What about caladium bulbs, will they come up? I couldn't get a response to this posting in the groundcover forum.

Please help. Thanks.

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tjsangel(z5 OH)


My Lamium is not terribly invasive. It has formed a nice clump and blooms continuously. This is over 3 yrs. It's not a thick thick cover, your bulbs will be able to come through it. Now Sweet Woodruff is another story! Better have a whole yard for it, though it is beautiful. I recommend Lamium, I love it.


    Bookmark   May 4, 2006 at 5:09PM
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joy4me(z6 NY)

There are different varieties (approx. 50) of Lamium, not quite sure. But, SOME of them are VERY invasive and will choke everything in its way in some areas. I have the yellow flowered vining type that's horrible..very pretty, but just so hard to get rid of. just need to miss a tiny piece of root and it's off and running again. Lamium is a deadnettle, I think, and in the mint family. There are supposed to be a few that stay contained, though I don't know just which they are. It also depends on where you live and your conditions too I suppose. You can check out invasive plants on the net and see if you can find the one you have.

Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2006 at 9:15PM
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I also have lamium and haven't found it to be invasive. I don't have the plant card handy, but it the white flowering type and it does make a bit of a mound. My mother in law also grows lamium, only hers is the pink flowering variety. Hers insn't invasive either. I would recommend lamium.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2006 at 1:26PM
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geoforce(z7a SE PA)

I just put in a gorgeous one this spring called "Beacon Silver". Very nice silver leaves with medium green edges, and a medium lavender flower. I HOPE it spreads!


    Bookmark   June 13, 2006 at 3:29PM
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janetr(Ottawa USDA 4a)

While this thread is still alive, I'd really like to know what other varieties people have found to be well-behaved.

George, I've done both in the past, and for that matter, in the present. Ground layering is just so nice and simple and with a higher success rate... ;o)

    Bookmark   June 15, 2006 at 7:52PM
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I have heard 'Hermann's Pride' is well behaved and the leaves and yellow blooms are quite pretty. I bought some yesterday to plant but it started to storm and I haven't gotten to put it in yet. I also bought 'chequers' (was a good deal LOL) but I want to research that particular varuety before I plant so I know what to expect.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2006 at 11:34AM
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In very deep shade and poor soil, I don't find that either the Beacon Silver or the old fashioned kind (the kind that a co-worker gave me because it was taking over HER yard) spreads very fast in a dry, very, very shaded area. With a little more light and water, I bet the old-fashioned kind would have taken over my yard in the last 6 years since I planted it. It has spread, but not a whole lot.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2008 at 11:18AM
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Under my Norway Maple- and honestly a known challenge to many Dead Nettle was really one of my last options. Dry shade's not too much fun. Lily of the Valley grows with it and it's good not great Actually the circular bed right now looks nice with the purple Lamium in bloom. Can anyone suggest a third companion plant maybe taller? Could late single yellow tulips work? It's dappled shade. Is there a specie for that ? Thanks

    Bookmark   April 30, 2012 at 9:20PM
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I have red nancy, which is really purple, and silver beacon, which has pink flowers and they are very well behaved. On the other hand the yellow one which crept out from our neighbours is a garden thug!

    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 8:19PM
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Just a note regarding hydrangea in a 3-foot wide bed. Only dwarf hydrangea will fit into this space. Here are some dwarf varieties:
H. Little Lime, 3' - 5' tall and wide
H. Pee Wee, 2' - 4' tall and wide
H. Pia, 2 1/2' tall and wide

Of these, Pia is the only one I grow, and it is outstanding.


    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 6:11PM
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I don't know for certain which varieties I have as they were planted 6 years ago, if memory serves, but my garden has two kinds of purple-flowered lamium, one with silver and green leaves and one with almost completely silver leaves. Both have been voracious growers (one of the few plants we've tried that does well in the shaded, very wet and heavy clay-filled corner of our yard), but they're not exactly invasive. They definitely spread, but they don't seem to be choking other plants out. Granted, I do cut them back extensively in the spring and fall.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2012 at 8:07PM
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kimka(Zone 6B)

The most invasive of the lamiums is Yellow archangel, Lamium galeobdolon. It has lovely yellow flowers in the spring. Hermann's pride is the better behaved version of it. But it can be hard to be sure you get Hermann's pride and not the very invasive species version. In dense shade, even archangel stays better behaved, but give it any sun at all and in a few years it is off and running and goes everywhere. But where you have a shady area that you don't want to tend at all like a steep slope, it will become a solid ground cover.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2012 at 10:11AM
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The Archangel quickly spread in my dry shade garden, it was suffocating trillium, bleeding heart and may apples. I spent hours pulling it out and it's already starting to sprout back up. Stay far away from this variety unless you need something completely covered!

    Bookmark   June 11, 2012 at 12:38PM
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I have had White Nancy and Beacon Silver for many years. They grow freely in the bed but do not venture into my lawn. The mounds will sometimes die out in the center, but they are easily refreshed. In dry shade, for me, they are easily controlled.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2012 at 7:36PM
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docmom_gw Zone 5 MI(5)

I moved into a new house last fall. This spring we discovered that we do, in fact, have extensive beds full of the Archangel variety of lamium. Unfortunately, I'm not a fan of yellow flowers in the shade. However, this horrible heat seems to be hard on the lamium. It's wilting beautifully. I'm hoping some of it won't make it to fall. But, once the rains begin and the ground is moist, my shovel will be busy!


    Bookmark   July 4, 2012 at 8:47AM
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About 40 years ago, I had a plant shop. At the end of the busy season, I had a left over hanging basket of lamium that was pretty ratty-looking. I dumped the soil ball out of the pot and threw it into the woods in front of my house. I guess it liked where it landed, because the following spring I noticed that it had come back to life. I assumed that it was dead from the cold weather not knowing that it's native to Alaska and extremely hardy. I left it there just to see what it would do. It now covers an area of nearly a quarter of an acre, all wooded and all very shady. The thing that really intrigues me is that the lush crop of poison ivy that had controlled the area is now totally gone. I suspect that lamium might give off a substance, possibly through the roots, that kills competing plants. It doesn't seem to have any harmful effects on shrubs and trees, but it is devastating to other crawling, ivy-like plants (poison ivy, Virginia creeper, honeysuckle, English ivy, etc.) that it encounters. It may be invasive, but I love it. Any enemy of poison ivy is a friend of mine. I'm trying to get it to invade my neighbor's property that is covered with a disgusting, over-grown jungle of chrysanthemum-weed that gets over 8 feet tall. I find that the bright yellow flowers in spring don't last long enough for me to really enjoy them. Nothing except weed killer will eliminate lamium, as far as I can tell. I've tried growing it in the sun with limited success. If I give it enough water, it does reasonably well. In the shade, it's nearly indestructible. I love it!

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 7:53PM
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My husband calls lamiastrum "ground cancer". We have been trying to get rid of it for many years. It is fine in an area where nothing NOTHING else grows.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 7:59AM
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princessgrace79(8 PNW)

I have a variagated type with pink flowers, and it has spread but not aggressively.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 1:21PM
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I have had so many lamiums in my gardens that I don't know one from the other anymore. Yellow archangel is nothing short of hell once it's established. It smothered hosts, geraniums, heucheras,... Of course I planted it because it filled in fast and kept out the weeds - what a dope that I thought it would stop growing once it had covered all the open space! It took me years to get rid of that, and since then at least one of my pink lamiums has gone invasive. It's not as bad as the Yellow Archangel, but it's bad enough.

I'm happy to hear from Stukin that it can kill off other vines. I have english ivy growing through my rose garden, smothering the rose bushes at ground level. I'd love to be rid of that - it doesn't come up easily by pulling and I can't spray so close to a rose. Thanks for that tip!

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 1:44PM
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I'm so glad this post is still going.

We have lamium that the previous homeowner planted under some azaleas. It is there and it appears to be healthy, but it hasn't spread. The soil in that area is very compacted, so I doubt it will ever spread. It's also near day lilies and it hasn't grown in to them at all.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 7:14PM
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