Return to the Plants for Difficult Places Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Something attractive, easy, low growing for shade, poor soil.

Posted by denninmi 6A SE Michigan (My Page) on
Mon, Jun 4, 12 at 12:17

I'm trying to think of something that would stay under a foot tall (roughly), and would do well in hard clay soil under the canopy of a hickory tree.

This area is in the road right of way, so I don't want to spend a lot of money on things as it could, in theory, be ripped out at any time if they need to do utility work on the water or gas lines that go through the spot -- I would try some Epimedium or Helleborus there if it weren't for this, as I have those in similar conditions elsewhere and they do well.

This is around a cluster of mail boxes and a road sign, and keeping it in grass means hand-clipping. I previously tried some Autumn Joy sedum there, it has survived but never really thrived and looks ugly, so I took that out this weekend. Creeping juniper would be good IF it got sun, but its shade all day.

I guess if nothing else, I have two options -- just mulch it down and grow nothing, or 2) Lamiastrum, which I hate, but which nothing kills and will grow anywhere.

Open to better suggestions.


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Something attractive, easy, low growing for shade, poor soil.

Have you considered pachysandra?


 o
RE: Something attractive, easy, low growing for shade, poor soil.

I think the road salt might fry it in the winter. It's a main road so they salt it quite a bit. Anything evergreen might get burnt, which would rule out junipers as well -- my bad.

But thanks for the thought.


 o
RE: Something attractive, easy, low growing for shade, poor soil.

Lilies of the Valley?
Columbine?
Hostas?
Periwinkles / myrtle?
Spanish Bells?

Just some suggestions


 o
RE: Something attractive, easy, low growing for shade, poor soil.

Don't know how it would handle salt, but THE plant for low maintenance and dry shade is Geranium maccrorhizum, Big Root Geranium. Handsome and semi-evergreen.


 o
RE: Something attractive, easy, low growing for shade, poor soil.

I don't know what it does during the winter in your zone but Heuchera (Coral Bells). I have it growing in a very shady location under a blue atlas cedar and pretty much ignore it and it does surprisingly well. Whenever it rains, it gets a growth spurt. The leaves come it many different colors too but I've found the common green do best.
Also Vinca minor would do very well & gets pretty flowers but might be invasive so check on that first.
Another that would do well is Ivy~ I don't know if the variegated is as invasive but even if you mulch, you're going to get weeds so I'd plant something.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Plants for Difficult Places Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here