Ground Cover For a Large North Facing Slope

bermudasarahMay 21, 2009

Good Day,

Husband and I are currently in the process of building a house on several acres in a wooded area outside of Charlotte, NC. I am originally from Bermuda and am new to the area and have only recently started researching plants suitable for this region and was hoping to get some help from the Garden Web community, please.

I looking for an invasive, spreading, evergreen ground cover for a shady slope on the north side of the property. The area is roughly 100 ft. by 13 feet.

Thank You,


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I am not sure about the evergreen part but I did notice in my garden it did remain to stay green all year. Wild Blue Phlox, Phlox divaricata it blooms in the spring a pretty blue, very fragrant. Phlox also reseeds it self so it should spread quite nicely. Here in my area its a wonderful site to see the phlox growing in the wild on slopes and hills amongst the rocks and trees. Its height is about a foot tall so its not your typical ground cover but I know from what I have seen its a beautiful thing for hillsides when its in bloom. I added a link so maybe this will give you an idea of the look.

Here is a link that might be useful: USDA plant profile

    Bookmark   May 22, 2009 at 10:30AM
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A low growing juniper may also work; your local nursery can help you with varieties that do well locally. Some juniper species are shade tolerant.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2009 at 2:23PM
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ninibean(z6 MA)

I use the woodland phlox a lot too, it's gorgeous and spreads very well. I also use yellow creeping euonymous on a dry shady slope. Intertwined with vinca, it looks great from a distance.

1 Like    Bookmark   May 27, 2009 at 8:05PM
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Vinca is a bad word. It may look nice but takes over an area fairly quickly. Under my spruce tree must be two hundred or so vinca seedlings that are just coming up. Think how many seedlings could come from as large of an area as needed covered.

Euonymous is another that can spread.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2009 at 9:56PM
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If you really want invasive, check out Yellow Archangel.

Have a containment plan, though.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2009 at 11:43PM
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Depending on the height here a few options to research. Lecothoe, Archtostaphylos, Gaultheria, Sarcococca, Microbiota decussata, Skimmia, Mahonia repens, Euonymus 'Harlequin', Vinca, Pachysandra. It might be a good idea to use a combiantion to add a little dimension to the spot.Also don't be afraid to add a little vertical interest, Pieris, Mahonia japonica or Mahonia aqufolium, Kalmia, are just a few examples.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2009 at 8:58AM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

You may be using the word "invasive" to me something other than it's actual scientific meaning. But, if you really are looking for an invasive plant, you are doing your yard, your community, and the environment an extreme disservice! Planting invasive plants is a very damaging form of littering. Invasives are not only litter, but they are a form of litter that increases by itself over time. They are harmful to native plant and animal life and cost this nation hundreds of billions of dollars per year!

    Bookmark   June 12, 2009 at 11:59AM
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Call an online bamboo nursery to ask about a small low growing variety for your slope.
There is nothing better than a grass, which bamboo is, that will be evergreen and will also help keep the soil on your slope which is another consideration.
You want a low growing, pretty bamboo for ground cover.
Tell them that, they will recommend something for you.
All bamboo is evergreen.
Good Luck to you!

    Bookmark   June 14, 2009 at 9:33PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

Spreading bamboos may work well if you are able to keep their growth in check. Most are either not invasive or only marginally invasive in most climates. You would not however want to plant an aggressive bamboo next to a property line where it could become a nuisance to one of your neighbors.

Not all bamboo is evergreen. Borinda emeryi and Borinda frigidorum are two examples of normally deciduous bamboos. Also, many bamboos are facultatively deciduous in many climates or conditions.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2009 at 8:35AM
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