Asked on May 6, 2017

Quesiton about Groundcover

B. EnnePjr9847977Roberta Dixon-Pastor


I love big trees, but grass won't grow under them. Our ground is hard clay. What can I grow in the shade?
8 answers
  • Elizabeth Dion
    on May 6, 2017

    I would surround the trees with pavers and fill in with stones or mulch. Plant some shade loving plants into some pretty pots and put them on the mulch.
    I would try some coleus, begonias, caladium, impatiens, lobelia, nicotania, butterfly flower, pansies, viola and calla lilies.
  • Suzanne
    on May 6, 2017

    You could try purple myrtle.
  • Janet Pizaro
    on May 6, 2017

    Make container plantings under the trees. this will eliminate ground cover ending up somewhere it should not be and working to amend the clay soil.
  • 512181
    on May 7, 2017

    I had this problem with some big trees. I added shredded leaves, manure, extra dirt, lawn clippings, etc. on top of the clay. (look up lasagna gardening.) I then planted part pachysandra and part vinca in the layer of soil I created. The plants did very well. I also dug holes where I could and planted daffodils. I kept the area well watered until the ground covers became established.
  • Janice Denny
    on May 7, 2017

    Thank you everyone! I'm looking forward to trying these things when the weather gets warmer than freezing!!!
  • Roberta Dixon-Pastor
    on May 7, 2017

    There is a plant called Wedelia or something like that. It grows low and close to the ground. It does need trimming once in awhile around the edges. It gets a flower on it that resembles a dandelion.
  • Pjr9847977
    on May 12, 2017

    I used pots of caladiums in varying shades (dark red/green, pink/green, white/green). They're annuals but are inexpensive, grow quickly and are prettier than a lot of blooming plants--supplying color until frost. I also planted hosta (there are many varieties--check to see which are best for shade) which are perennials and make great back-ground plantings. They can be divided over time. I agree with using mulch, pavers or river stones/pea gravel for hardscape, as a walking path and to add interest. I used larger stepping stones in the middle of my pea gravel and was very pleased with the outcome and functionality. All the best to you.
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