Help Choosing Groundcover

I have a medium sized hill that has a maple tree in the middle. The dirt on the hill is very poor - full of gravel, rocks, and bad dirt. I am looking for a ground cover that will cover quickly and fill this area. Any suggestions?


Hardiness Zone: 7a

Peggy from Springboro, OH

April 14, 20080 found this helpful

We use Vinca on slopes like this and it's worked out well. It is a vine with purple flowers in the spring and all you have to do is stick it in the ground. It's very easy to grow.

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April 14, 20080 found this helpful

Any good nursery should be able to help you. A good one will test your soil if you bring them a sample.

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April 17, 20080 found this helpful

We use vinca, we have red clay soil and it grows there. Plus we get snow and it makes it through. Plus the deer don't eat it.

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April 18, 20080 found this helpful

Most groundcovers are pretty hardy. I would say this is true of the most popular varieties. Most people use them for a similar situation as the one you've described.

I like English ivy. It grows in shady areas like under trees and on slopes. You can even walk on it if you like without damaging it.

I also grow vinca Beacon Silver which has silver and green leaves. It flourishes in my poor soil. I never water my plants or do anything to help them grow. It gets pink flowers in the spring, but also reblooms.

There are two other groundcovers that have a similar look. One is called pinks and the other is called phlox (groundcover phlox). Pinks are related to carnations and require an alkaline soil. The groundcover variety of phlox is an entirely different plant although they look very similar. My soil is acidic and I can grow phlox here. Both bloom in the spring and I believe both can be mown over if desired. The phlox might rebloom if you mow over it or cut it down, but I dont think pinks will do that for you.

If the area is sunny, I recommend groundcover sedum. There are many varieties and you can plant several of them there. All are hardy.

Good luck.

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April 18, 20080 found this helpful

After sending my previous posting, I realized I had only suggested low growing groundcovers. The ones in my previous post only grow 4 to 6" tall. There are many other plants that are considered groundcovers that grow taller. They are more like 12 to 18" tall. One that comes to mind is Lady's Mantle. Lady's Mantle self seeds and soon covers a large area. Another plant that comes to mind is the daylily. Both of these plants are quite hardy and grow in my partly shady acidic soil.

Good luck.

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