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Ground Covers for Japanese Gardens

Posted by sherylmb 24 (My Page) on
Sat, May 3, 08 at 18:18

I have been developing a japanese garden, but I am finding it hard to locate a suitable ground cover for the zone I live in - 24. The location of the garden receives lots of sun and gets moderate to low water. Anyone have any ideas?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Ground Covers for Japanese Gardens

Where is zone 24? I wasn't aware the zones even went that high.

I live in zone 7 (NC) and use ice plant as a ground cover in the sunnier portions of my Japanese garden. It might not be very traditional, but it grows well and stays low (less than 4"). Plus it has nice flowers. I also use some ornamental grasses (Blue fescue and Pink muhly) as well as Mondo grass.

RE: Ground Covers for Japanese Gardens


Thanks for answering back. I live in San Diego and yes, the zone is 24.

I do have some Blue Fescue in the garden that is doing well. And I just took out all the ice plant, because it is so overused in gardens around here. I will look up the Pink muhly.


RE: Ground Covers for Japanese Gardens

When I was in San Diego, I saw some yards that used a very low-growing groundcover that looked like moss. I'm not sure what it was called, but it would look great in a Japanese garden.

There are a lot of sedum varieties that would make nice groundcovers, particularly in your zone. My favorite is "Blue Spruce" which actually looks like little spruce needles. I've also got a small one with golden leaves but can't remember the varietal name.

If you have any shaded areas, Hakone grass makes a beautiful clumping groundcover. Mondo grass (Ophiopogon spp.) is also nice for shade.

Funny about the ice plant. Some types grow well here, but you rarely see it used for covering large areas.

RE: Ground Covers for Japanese Gardens

You don't say whether the area is shady or sunny. If shady, I'd plant moss - it's a wonderful ground cover.

I'm in zone 8. For my sunny areas I'm using wooly thyme and also Liptinella (New Zealand Brass Buttons). One bed has a dark variety called "Platts Black", another bed has the green. It resembles tiny fern leaves growing very close together. It spreads nicely and looks good against the rocks.

RE: Ground Covers for Japanese Gardens

Smaller leaved sedums? I've seen a tiny leaved succulent used as a ground cover that might work for you. Unhappily, I don't know the name, but I've seen it in flats at Walter Andersen's. Irish moss (Sagina) is the usual advice for warmer, drier conditions, but it still requires water from what I've read.

I have an old Japanese garden that is filled with Japanese species. It takes way too much water though and I'm trying to figure out how to revamp it with some more locally appropriate plant material, so if you have any brilliant ideas, share them please!

RE: Ground Covers for Japanese Gardens

  • Posted by bboy z8 WA USA (My Page) on
    Mon, May 12, 08 at 0:14

Notice the split z9/22 in the last post. USDA 9/Sunset 22. Most here use the USDA zones, that's why the 24 was questioned.

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