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Wintergreen, too good to be true?

Posted by blue_spruce 6 MO (My Page) on
Wed, Apr 7, 04 at 20:57

Can anyone give me any info as to the drawbacks of planting wintergreen as a groundcover. I would like to plant it under a WNW faceing high deck area. It sounds like it would be perfect, with a number of uses and good smell. However I am wondering if it might be stickery or be very invasive. I do hope not because I think it maybe just what I am looking for.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Wintergreen, too good to be true?

There are several plants with that common name. Is this one that you are referring to?

Here is a link that might be useful: Gaultheria procumbens


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RE: Wintergreen, too good to be true?

True wintergreen (the plant they get the flavoring from) is Gaultheria procumbens. It is an excellent groundcover for a woodland or shaded area. It does not produce stickers or thorns and grows slowly to form colonies. I would certainly not classify it as invasive. In my climate, it is fully evergreen and gets great winter color of bronzy-reddish foliage. Needs acidic, evenly moist soil.


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RE: Wintergreen, too good to be true?

I tried this a few times but I had trouble getting it established. I gave up because the only place I could find it was rather expensive. I wonder if now that I've found the GW forums and discovered many great nurseries, if I can find it at a more reasonable price. It really is a lovely little plant, and gardengal's right - the winter foliage is beautiful!

:)
Dee


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RE: Wintergreen, too good to be true?

Yes,the Gaultherua probcumbens is the variety I am interested in. My soil is rather acid here and I am anxious to give is a try. I have found several places to order plants. Thanks for your responces.


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RE: Wintergreen, too good to be true?

Dee, I planted some last year and was also unable to find it priced reasonably. The nurseries must look at more as a shrub than a perennial. Depending on how well it does, I plan to add more-evergreen, fall color and berries in the shade-it seems almost too good to be true :).

Sue


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RE: Wintergreen, too good to be true?

Hi, everyone, if some of you are still interested in to get Wintergreen, I will be happy to trading with you. Now little too late for transplanting them though. Send me e-mail and have a nice holiday!


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RE: Wintergreen, too good to be true?

Hi, after I posted a message I found out that mine is actually Partridge berry( Mitchella repens) and not true Winter green. But they look very similar and I believe Partridge berry is also good ground cover for the shade too.


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RE: Wintergreen, too good to be true?

I have also found wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens) difficult to establish. It has not died but does not spread nor look happy. An evergreen ground cover for shade that does really well for me is barren strawberry (Waldsteinia fragarioides). It has shiny green leaves all year, pretty yellow flowers in spring, spreads nicely and is easy to transplant. Gnomlet


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RE: Wintergreen, too good to be true?

I have Gaultheria but I don't find that it colonizes. The plants remain small even though they seem happy. I think Gardengal's PNW environment might be better with their more consistent moisture. Here in the Midwest we have periods of dry weather that probably hold it back from spreading.


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RE: Wintergreen, too good to be true?

I have a Wintergreen patch near my lawn. For some strange reason it produced a bumper crop of berries, which are still attached. They are tasty but not nutritious.

Seems to like to grow next to boulders.


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RE: Wintergreen, too good to be true?

  • Posted by kkbix z5 Indy (My Page) on
    Sat, Jun 18, 05 at 22:02

Do birds like to eat the berries?


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RE: Wintergreen, too good to be true?

This is a lovely little "ground cover". The truth is that even where it thrives, one would be hard pressed to call it a "ground cover". When is it happy, it forms nice lose colonies that can span a room sized area or more, but not continously. I've seen incredible mixed colonies of it with Cornus canadensis
and other ericaceous shrubs in the mountains of Maine and New Hampshire. Here it can form impressive colonies.

The other beauty part of this plant is its ability to withstand hot temperatures. I live in a climate that approximates Atlanta, GA temperatures, that is bloody hot in summer. Yet my little patch grows nicely and expands a bit each year. Still, if I wanted to see it cover the ground one day, I may have to look up since I'll probably be six feet under!

Still worth growing, and animals should like the fruits, though mealy in texture, they have the classic wintergreen taste. PF


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Growin' in the Heat

Just to show you Im not kidding, I actually grow this species here in hot, humid Kyushu.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Too bad it didnt flower much this year! PF


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RE: Wintergreen, too good to be true?

Gosh, I wish I could find a spot in my yard where this would grow. It's supposed to be a native, but I've tried it three times in different locations and the last plant languished and now only has one little stalk. Same with partridge berry. I'm in Pgh., so have woodlands, acid soil, have lots of other natives that do well.


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RE: Wintergreen, too good to be true?

The densest carpets of wintergreen I've ever seen are in the New Jersey Pine Barrens. Acres and acres of huckleberry, blueberry, trailing arbutus and wintergreen.
they tend to be thickest between young pines in thin fast draining soil.


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