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Problem Areas? Try Groundcovers

Ground Cover Vines

Just about anyone who gardens understand the frustrations that some terrains present. It may be a steep incline or a patch of rocks. It may also be a deep trench or a wide-open space that would be difficult and expensive to maintain with regular flowers. Often, these spots are covered with grass and are tedious to mow. Or, it may be an area that stays bald because soil drainage is poor or lacks sunlight.

Ground covering is the answer for difficult growing areas.

There are many plants, herbs, and shrubs that thrive as ground covering in some of the most wretched spots. It all depends on what area needs to be covered and soil and sunlight conditions.

The English ivy vine is a perennial favorite that is often used for the ground cover. Classified as an evergreen, this hardy plant can fill shady areas where it is almost impossible to grow other foliage. They quickly spread over the ground and can reach a height of nearly afoot. They are perfect for growing under trees where the grass is sparse because of the shade. As climbers, they can cover a wall or climb trellises.

Another star of ground-covering plants is creeping phlox. Gardeners may choose from two different types. One type of creeping phlox (Phlox stolonifera) is a shade lover and is right at home under shade trees and in an area that does not get much light. Their dainty white, blue, or pink flowers bloom in the spring in heavy clumps of foliage. The second type of creeping phlox (phlox subulate) thrives in expansive areas that enjoy full sun and good drainage. This type grows in clumps that are similar to moss. They also have flowers in the spring and leave foliage throughout the summer.

Periwinkle ( Vinca minor)is genuinely the gardener's friend. That is especially true in areas that might not get a lot of rainfall. This hardy plant is a fast grower and provides lush foliage that tends to smother weeds. It is a low-lying creeper that quickly absorbs moisture into the soil and retains it, which benefits surrounding plants. Its lovely foliage is evergreen throughout the seasons and blooms in blue, pink, or white in the spring and often again in Autumn.

These highlighted plants, among others, can make a difference in a homeowner's landscaping.

Nature is random and never perfect; therefore, there will always be problem areas in anyone's garden, no matter the location. The key to good ground cover is knowing the conditions and which plants will thrive the best in that area. It is also essential to know if the plant blooms and whether or not it is evergreen. Successful ground covering becomes the verdant canvas for annuals, perennials, shrubs, and trees in the landscaping. When planted judiciously, they accentuate the beauty surrounding them.

Ground Covers

Soil erosion is sometimes a necessary evil of landscaping. However, using the appropriate ground covers for the situation can stop or keep soil erosion to a minimum. However, there are ground covers that can both climb rocky slopes to stop soil erosion and cover areas on the ground that cannot seem even to grow grass.

Vinca Minor

Vinca Minor is a fast-spreading plant. It is one of the more popular slope covers used. It is a fuss-free plant that loves to grow anywhere and grow in poor soil, rocks, shade, or full sun. It does not matter to this plant. It will even grow where grass will not. It makes for a pretty ground cover under shrubs and trees. The vinca minor has dark green leaves and blue flowers in the spring. It will grow to be about 4-5 inches. This plant needs no special care.

English Ivy

The English ivy is another favorite plant when it comes to slope covers. It will spread horizontally and reach a height of about 8 inches. It is an evergreen that does flower, but it is hardly noticed because the flower is green. The ivy is also helpful for weed control and is suitable for planting under trees and shrubs in shady areas. The ivy is fast growing and very mysterious. It does require trimming to keep it under control.


The partridgeberry plant is a slow-growing plant that is not very aggressive. It only grows to about 2 inches high. It is a very showy plant with white flowers in the spring and red berries that last through the winter. Along with covering slopes, it is a good cover for bare, shady spots. The partridge berry prefers moist drained soil. However, it is very tolerant of the cold and will keep its lovely color even in extreme winter.

How To Plant Bare Root Ground Covers

A ground cover plant is any plant grown to cover an area of the ground rather than grow upright (like a flower, shrub, or tree). Ground covers are used primarily to protect against drought and erosion and provide visual interest in otherwise bare areas. The grass is the most widespread ground cover. However, gardeners take advantage of several species of perennial ground cover to add beauty and interest to their gardens.

Where to Plant Ground Cover Vines

Ground covers can define garden areas as traffic barriers, or lawn grass does not grow well. You can use them around taller plants, large shrubs, or trees where grass might otherwise be sparse or difficult to maintain. You can also use ground covers to add to a perennial flower bed where species grow and die back at different times of the season.

How to Plant Ground Cover Vines

Many ground covers, especially perennials, are sold and shipped as bare roots. That means they are dug up while dormant and shipped with just the roots rather than an active plant growing in soil. To learn how to plant bare-root ground cover, follow these steps:

1. Prepare the soil. Loosen the soil in the entire area where roots will be planted to a depth of about 12 inches. Add organic compost, manure, or peat to the soil to improve available nutrients.

2. Dig a hole that is 1.5 times as deep, at least as wide as the root. It would be best if you planted roots with the crown side up. Check with the specifications for your ground cover to determine how far from the surface to plant the roots. Some need to be slightly above the ground, while others should be 1-2 inches below.

3. Tamp the soil down slightly, ensuring the roots are secure and straight. Water well, and keep the area watered until the plants begin to emerge. Keep the area watered consistently through the growing season.

4. Fertilize plants in early spring and early fall. Ground covers may take two to three full growing seasons before they provide a robust ground covering.

English Ivy

Botanical Latin Name: Helix Hedra

Common Name: English Ivy

Sun Exposure: medium to high

Hardiness Zones:

Mature Height:20 to 30 m high

Spread: will cover ground.

Spacing: Ivy will overtake the ground or a tree.

Growth Rate: Is hearty and grows at high speed.

Flowering Time: summer to late Autumn

How Long It Flowers: summer into late Autumn

Flower Color: purple-black to orange-yellow berries 6–8 mm diameter

Soil Requirements: This Ivy can use most soil types, or it is a climber, which means the plant can attach to trees and other structures as it grows upwards.

Pruning encourages growth and is required because English Ivy grows extensively and will take over an area.

Flower Form: Describe Plant's appearance in detail - the leaves are shaped with three to five points and are waxy in texture. They range in length from 50–100 mm, with a 15–20mm petiole. They gather in groups of three to five, and dark purple fruit fills the center.

English Ivy Plants

English ivy plants are often many people's choices as an accent plant. English ivy looks great climbing the side of buildings or as a filler for many different structures like gardens. It is a plant with many uses but also looks great in a simple pot. English ivy plants reach 12 feet high at the height of their maturity. The soil preference for English ivy is acidic. The color of this plant is blue. English ivy requires between 4 and eight planting zones. English ivy is an excellent choice if you want a great plant that will add visual variety to the area.

Buy vines online from a reputable online nursery.

English Ivy - TN Nursery

English Ivy

English Ivy is a low-growing ground cover plant; it has glossy, heart-shaped leaves and produces small, inconspicuous brownish-purple flowers nestled among its dense, carpet-like foliage. It is a fantastic and versatile plant with several landscaping benefits. This evergreen vine is native to Europe and Western Asia and is widely embraced for its aesthetic appeal, adaptability, and practical applications. English Ivy is a woody evergreen perennial vine and foliage plant proliferating on vertical surfaces like trees, walls, fences, and trellises. The ancient Greeks believed the plant was sacred to the god Dionysus, and pagan druids revered it as a symbol of the divine feminine. In classical Latin, “hedera” refers to the ability to grasp, which is in keeping with the vine’s nature. English Ivy Loves Shade Native to Europe, Scandinavia, and parts of Russia, the Hedera helix is nearly ubiquitous in Britain and is naturalized and prolific in many regions of the United States. In the wild, the plant grows under, on trees, and up the sides of rocky cliffs, favoring moist, shady areas out of the sun. Mature Hedera helix vines typically grow up to 80 feet tall and span a three- to five-foot width. Their climbing stems bear young, five-lobed leaves, while their fertile stems bear adult, spade-shaped leaves. These deep-green leaves can vary in size between two and four inches long. The top of the plant will often develop clusters of small, greenish-yellow flowers that bloom from late summer until late autumn. These nectar-rich blossoms will eventually yield a crop of small purple-black to orange-yellow berries that persist into winter. English Ivy Kills Weeds Its bright green foliage can add all-season color to any landscape and beautify forlorn spaces. Its vines can be trained to climb many stable vertical surfaces or grown as a ground cover to suppress weeds. Since Hedera helix proliferates, it can make a good screen on a fence or trellis. When carefully grown on exterior building walls, it can protect their surfaces from exposure to bad weather and help regulate the temperature. Within the United States, Hedera helix can provide food and habitat for wildlife. Butterflies and moths eat their leaves, bees feed on their flowers’ nectar, and birds eat their berries in winter. The foliage often shelters insects and small animals and sometimes attracts nearby deer. English Ivy Is An Evergreen Hedera helix is a beautiful evergreen vine with a rich history. When you plant it in your garden, you can enjoy its charming English ivy character all year.

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Vinca Minor - TN Nursery

Vinca Minor

The Vinca Minor has lush and evergreen foliage and delicate blue or white flowers, making it a popular choice for various outdoor spaces. While its benefits extend beyond its use in herbalism, let's explore its landscaping advantages. Vinca Minor, also called creeping myrtle, lesser periwinkle, or just myrtle, is a perennial beauty that instills a fetching charm in gardens, landscapes, and even potted plants. Vinca Minor Has Deep Emerald Green Foliage The leaves are a deep shade of rich emerald green, and most have a glossy, polished, or shiny appearance. They are typically oval-shaped with smooth edges, a thick texture, and prominent veins. Some species are varied. The plants can be erect or trailing. Leaves occur in pairs along the height of the stem, making the plant look lush and thick. The plant is graced with trailing stems and adorned with clusters of small blooms in white or in a pale, pastel purple-blue color that many people associate with serenity. This plant is active year-round. Delicate little flowers appear early in spring and continue to bloom throughout spring and summer. Against a strikingly verdant backdrop provided by the rich green leaves, the clusters of blossoms are displayed to the best advantage. Creeping myrtles may look delicate. Nevertheless, they are hardy plants that tolerate harsh conditions gracefully. As perennial evergreen plants, they remain bright green throughout the winter. The Ground Cover Characteristics Of Vinca Minor This plant reaches only six inches when upright. However, the roots continue to grow underground every year, eventually becoming quite long. Although this plant has a medium growth rate, the roots can form a trailing mat, prostrate mat, or mounding mat. The stems like to get tangled up with each other, and as they do, they produce a thick mat of greenery that thrives all year. Vinca Minor Looks Great In Hanging Baskets Vinca Minor works well as trailers in large hanging baskets and tall pots. They provide superior coverage for hilly areas and can even be used in landscaping designs where you want subtle pops of color added to your existing ground-cover greenery. They have other uses as well. They have long been used in folk medicine to treat heart, nervous system, and GI tract conditions. The herb is thought to improve cognition and brain health.

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