This plant has pretty mint-shaped leaves with white edges. The plants spread rapidly and are quite hardy, even in coldest winters. Depending on their surroundings, these woody plants can be both ground creeping or climbing nearby trees, rocks, buildings, and pretty much anything they can lay their stems on. Some readers told us in no uncertain terms what they think of ivy: “a monster,” “kudzu,” and “I will never plant it again” were among the comments. Gardening; ALTERNATIVES TO IVY: GROUND-COVER PLANTS. Goldflame spirea makes an excellent ground cover and should be considered as an alternative to vinca or ivy. Ground Covers: A Field Guide. Recommended for zones 4 to 8, it doesn’t like the humid conditions of the South; $19.48 for a 4-inch pot through American Meadows. It will cover a standard-sized trellis in a single season and is easy to grow from seed (being a member of the bean family); $3.25 for a pack of seeds at Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. Tag us using #gardenista. Looking for tropical plants for your indoor space, If you garden, you might consider winter to be you, When designer @roseuniacke and her husband purchas, It might feel like dropping temperatures mean the, In the design world, you hear a lot about bringing, Climbing Hydrangea (Hydrangea anomala petiolaris). Anemone. Florida Native Ground Cover Plants . We have 200 guides on everything from fences to foxgloves. Before any ground cover is planted, the soil must be prepared well. Lamium. To select these more interesting plants, make an inventory of spring tree and shrub blooms. The shiny dark green foliage creates a solid blanket of green after just a few seasons. In Armitage’s Vines and Climbers, he profiles selections of climbing plants for a wide variety of sites and conditions; $29.95 at Amazon. Message received. Most of the ground covers we typically use are aggressive at spreading and covering the ground. Little did we know this benign (OK, maybe “invasive” is more apt) plant would stir up a bee’s hive of controversy. It has the mint family's bad habit of aggressive growth and must be cut back once or twice a summer or it will become a nuisance. Did we mention that when it’s overgrown it’s a favorite spot for rats to nest in? So to speak. Goldstar, a native wildflower, adapts easily to domestication in half-shade or sun. Most ivy features green leaves, some with light-colored veins, which spread through nodes that appear on the plant’s long vines. Finally, get more ideas on how to successfully plant, grow, and care for ivy with our Ivy: A Field Guide. If there are any leftover leaves from fall, use them, too - but put them through a chipper first to break them down. Be warned that they can become pests, but in the right place (where they can be confined) they are a delight. • Like ivy, kinnikinnick is adapted to well-drained sandy soils and sun. The foliage is handsome from earliest spring to late fall. Persian Ivy Persian ivy is primarily sought as a trailing ground cover lawn alternative that quickly creeps to cover areas (especially beneath large trees, to cover bald spots where grass won’t grow) with a maintenance-free carpet of beautiful foliage. Evg. Yes, I have to cut it vigorously. Comments: This is the native plant that is most commonly recommended as an alternative to English ivy in shady locations. Goldstar (Chrysogonum). Then, generously apply an herbicide to the ground where you pulled the vines and roots. Ivies), is a family of around 20 species of evergreen perennial plants. Although typically evergreen. To preserve these articles as they originally appeared, The Times does not alter, edit or update them. They have their place for large expanses and are probably the least expensive for greening major areas. Ground ivy has a long history of use in alternative medicine and as an edible herb, dating back to the first century A.D. it was long considered a panacea (cure-all). Resembles English Ivy except leaves are larger. Ground covers are available through quality garden nurseries or from mail-order catalogues. If conditions are ideal, it spreads freely and can be invasive. They bloom profusely in early summer with delicate pink flowers. Above: I confess to loving the voracious growth and strong aroma of Confederate (or Star) Jasmine Vine that hangs over my garage. While this may work in a planting bed out in a lawn, if these plants are used in non contained areas or are spread via seed or other ways they can become unwelcome thugs in our yards and beyond. To ameliorate the situation, we’ve rounded up a collection of alternatives: What did we miss? But there are so many others with appealing leaf shapes or flowers, or both, that gardeners would be remiss in ignoring them. Finally, get more ideas on how to plant, grow, and care for various vines and climbers with our Vines & Climbers: A Field Guide. Trumpet Honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens) is native to the Eastern United States. With large trumpet flowers, this vine spreads rapidly and sends up root suckers, putting itself in the middle of the invasive versus non-invasive debate; $29.95 in a large 3-gallon pot through Top Tropicals. PACHYSANDRA, myrtle and ivy are workhorses for gardeners. A … See our obsessively curated catalog of favorite products sourced by the Gardenista editors. A few types of ivy produce flowers. Watch this one in case of dry weather and keep it watered. Both Lessingia and Gazania are cleaner, more water wise alternatives to ivy that also have the benefit of blooming. It is delightful as a ground cover for two qualities: pretty, flat heads of white flowers and evergreen foliage that resembles yew. English ivy (Hedera helix) is a fast-growing evergreen climbing vine that can be used as a ground cover and grows well in zones 3 through 9. The plant also uses little rootlets that produce a glue-like substance that allow the vines to grasp and climb up fences, walls, and trees. Clumps will spread thickly and provide spikes of fragrant bloom for years to come. Violets. Fast growing, it’s practically a vertical garden kit on its own. Plants competing with tree roots in shade need a great deal of food (I use Miracid) and water. Sourcebook for Cultivated Living, sister site to @remodelista https://www.gardenista.com/posts/alternatives-to-ivy-vertical-growers This one spreads easily if planted in soil with plenty of humus, but go easy on the fertilizer. Ivy weighing down the trunk of a maple tree. Native Alternatives to English Ivy, Japanese Pachysandra and Periwinkle These shade-loving ground covers are good for the environment and say something about where you are These flowers are mentioned with mixed emotions. We can’t urge you enough not to do this. This type of ivy can be quite invasive, so if you grow it in your garden, you will need to … Ferns (Various Genera) Garden ferns are an unusual family of plants, since they include several … The plants are well suited to shade and poor conditions. Known for its high vitamin C content, it is said to be one of the first herb and edible plants brought to … Just one or two sprigs transplant easily and will start a colony. English ivy poses additional threats when it climbs, in part because it flowers and sets seeds only when it gets... Shrubby Plants. All Gardenista stories—from garden tours and expert advice to hand tools and furniture roundups. Most are for lightly shaded locations with an hour or so of sun each day, while a few are ideal for full sun. Alternatives to English Ivy Perennial Groundcovers. Once you plant Ivy, it’s all over, you’ll never get rid of it and once it’s established it isn’t very pretty. The one-stop sourcebook for the considered home, guiding readers artfully through the remodeling and design process. Candytuft is usually considered a perennial edging plant or draper over rock walls. Goldflame spirea has fabulous fall color. This one is good for moist shady places with airy white spikes of bloom. Hedera, which we commonly refer to as English Ivy (pl. A great native plant for carpeting the ground, Kinnikinnick helps sustain wildlife. Receive the Gardenista newsletter in your inbox daily. English Ivy will grow dense and low, which will crowd out weeds and keep erosion in check. Additionally, get more ideas on how to plant, grow, and care for various ground cover plants with our Ground Covers: A Field Guide. Add bonemeal as fertilizer. Meet our editorial team, see our book, and get the inside scoop on upcoming Gardenista events. The fragrant herb comes in a variety of cultivars that typically grow anywhere from … I think it’s one of the showiest of the early bloomers. Many of the true hardy geraniums (crane's-bills, not pelargoniums) are good for ground covers in small areas. Creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia) is sometimes considered an invasive weed in the yard; however, this plant will make a great ground cover to replace a lawn. Recommended for zones 4 to 9; $6 through Earth First Native Plant Nursery. Buy Persian Ivy HERE and Save. Algerian Ivy Vigorous growing vine or ground cover that clings to tree trunks, walls, or fences with ease. Includes Free Shipping via … It dies back after the first frost. The Gardenista editors provide a curated selection of product recommendations for your consideration. Gardenista’s members-only directory of landscape architects and garden designers. It will be a relatively permanent installation, so work in plenty of humus. Add these ground cover plants and flowers to your garden to fix your yard's trouble spots, whether it's grass that won't grow, erosion problems, or boring beds. Eradicating Poison Ivy. Creeping Jenny is sometimes considered an invasive weed in the yard; however, this plant will make a great ground cover to replace a lawn. Boston Ivy, my third favorite, actually likes full sun. All rights reserved. Photograph by Janet Hall. Sometimes called barrenworts, these plants have a delicate air with curious white flowers and thin textured leaves that form a mound. Creeping Phlox (Phlox subulata) Creeping phlox is a short plant often seen covering the side of a hill … New plants may even bloom the first year, if set out early enough. It grows just two inches high (so no mowing required!) Foamflower (Tiarella). Protect yourself and your plants. Join the great ivy debate; see our recent post: Vertical Garden Kit: The Ideal Ivy. Starting from scratch or upgrading an outdoor space? Once ivy matures, it begins to form berries. Your resource for finding the best storage and home organization solutions for every room in the house. Cover the entire area with mulch. This one spreads quickly in light shade and is gorgeous under maples and dogwoods. See the article in its original context from. Ivy, Pachysandra, Similar Ground Covers are NOT OK for use over a septic drainfield: these plants will reduce effluent evaporation from the drainfield, soil absorption system, soakaway system, or mound soils. They are soft bronze in early spring, changing to soft green and back to bronze in fall. SOURCEBOOK FOR THE CONSIDERED HOME Sword Fern: People don’t often think of ferns as viable groundcovers, but the native sword fern is fabulous for filling gaps in the landscape. Another hardy ground cover option that can survive some trampling, creeping mazus is an attractive grass alternative for small areas, such as in between stepping stones or a small patio area. Violets (Viola canadensis and other species) disappear in winter, but they provide nectar in early spring and are hosts to several butterfly larvae. Epimediums. Above: Horticulturalist Allan Armitage has an unapologetic love of vines (even those that some despise for their invasive nature). For more, see our collection of Vertical Garden Features. First things first: Protect yourself and your plants. Scatter slow-release all-purpose fertilizer, such as 10-10-10, across the surface of the soil at the rate recommended on the label, which will vary depending on the type of fertilizer you buy. With lilacs, how about a carpet of lily of the valley? Later on, pachysandra dresses up with creamy flowers and myrtle follows with pretty blue petals. Following are a few interesting ground covers to consider, but there are dozens more. Ground covers serve the same purpose in a garden as carpets do indoors. Copyright © 2007-2020 Remodelista, LLC. The definitive guide to stylish outdoor spaces, with garden tours, hardscape help, plant primers, and daily design news. Mats of leaves hug the ground and in early May the glorious spikes of soft lavender blue shoot up. I. English ivy is a popular choice for ground cover. Algerian Ivy is frost tender in some areas. In spite of their assets, these ground covers are boring. Deep lavender spikes of bloom appear in May and continue through most of the summer. If I lived in a brick house, I’d have it growing up the walls and around the windows, I LOVE ivy that much. Above: Our friend Tricia Rose recommends the Climbing Hydrangea (Hydrangea anomala petiolaris), especially on a north facing wall. Above: Crossvine (Bignonia capreolata), another native of the Eastern United States, is hardy in zones 5 to 9. If there is a handsome white dogwood or red Japanese maple, why not fill the ground with blue phlox? If you have a favorite climbing plant, tell us about it in the comment section below. Then choose a compatible ground cover to join them in flower. English Ivy Alternatives Although there are many species of phlox, one, P. stonlifera, is a delight for ground covering. If you want a fuss-free garden requiring little upkeep, native plants are fully adapted to grow naturally here in Fort Lauderdale.. These nodes root, then continue to spread over the ground. Or for early orange or rose azaleas, maybe a spread of dainty white epimediums? This large group of succulents come in all sizes with colors ranging from light green to gold to blood red and bronze. This is a digitized version of an article from The Times’s print archive, before the start of online publication in 1996. Photo courtesy of Donna Williamson. Looking for a low maintenance way to cover a large swath of ground? It wants to climb, but lacking support, it will trail and spread. They bloom profusely in early summer with delicate pink flowers. A beguiling herb in cool shade, sweet woodruff has pretty green whorled leaves and dainty white flowers. Nearly anything you use to replace the ivy will be less encouraging to rodents. Ivy grows 6 to 8 inches high when used as a ground cover and has dark green, glossy leaves. Occasionally the digitization process introduces transcription errors or other problems; we are continuing to work to improve these archived versions. Browse our collection of more than 2,000 plants and seeds, which can be ordered directly from our favorite shops and growers. Remodelista, Gardenista, 10 Easy Pieces, Steal This Look, 5 Quick Fixes, Design Sleuth, High/Low Design, Sourcebook for the Considered Home, and Sourcebook for Considered Living are ® registered trademarks of Remodelista, LLC. “You don’t have to baby it,” she says. Plan your trip with our destination guides to our favorite public gardens, hotels, restaurants, and shops. Unlike many other vines, the blooms of the hyacinth bean plants grow up and away from the foliage. Gardeners value English ivy as a groundcover because it effectively competes with other... Vines. Continue to be watchful and vigilant. Phlox. The process for complete eradication will most likely need to be repeated several times as new growth from the cuttings and the leftover roots will be vigorous. Violets are good to share with neighbors. Use either dampened peat moss (dry peat moss absorbs soil moisture) or well-rotted compost. Foamflower provides a wild and woodsy effect. Dead nettle is another option. Whole leaves worked into soil before planting will deprive the ground of valuable soil nutrients needed by plants. • Its evergreen foliage and mat-like spreading habit give an emerald look year-round. English Ivy vs. Silver and Gold. Add them to your vertical garden kit. SOURCEBOOK FOR CONSIDERED LIVING It is a twining, evergreen, woody perennial that grows as a vine in zones 8 to 10 (California, southwestern and southeastern US). A fast-growing evergreen ground cover, ivy comes in many types. TimesMachine is an exclusive benefit for home delivery and digital subscribers. And when the flowers appear, almost overnight, what more could anyone ask? Green and variegated forms available. Many species are available and choice is a matter of taste. and can spread up to 24 inches within the first two years. A 3-to-4-inch mulch will keep down weeds until growth becomes rampant. Yes, English ivy is invasive and can get pretty out of control if you don’t keep on top of it, but, in the right setting, it’s a magnificent {and low maintenance, and cheap} ground cover. And it reseeds like the dickens. Sedums and houseleeks. Its leaves suggest pick-a-back plant. Recently we offered a professional’s recommendation of the perfect Ivy plant. For large areas, we recommend Japanese pachysandra (Pachysandra terminalis). Even though they look battered and sunburned after a hard winter, they come back in spring with new leaves that cover the scars. Ever green, they cover the ground under shade trees or shrubs with an aggressive growing speed. Introduces transcription errors or other problems ; we are continuing to work to improve these archived versions form.... Of more than 2,000 plants and hardscape materials to climb, but there are dozens more vines the! Our book, and get the inside scoop on upcoming Gardenista events to do this qualities: pretty, heads! Work in plenty of humus, but there are dozens more to these... I do … low water ground covers serve the same purpose in a garden as carpets indoors... Native to the retailer that sells the product may earn us a commission to nest in late summer colors from! A great native plant that is most commonly recommended as an alternative to English will! Mats that are ideal for sunny sites valuable soil nutrients needed by plants on the fertilizer ideal! Trumpet Honeysuckle ( Lonicera sempervirens ) is native to the Eastern United States, hardy.: a Field Guide advice on plants and hardscape materials garden requiring little upkeep native. Required! of taste in flower species of evergreen perennial plants grows 6 to 8 inches high used! For carpeting the ground under shade trees or shrubs with an hour or so of alternative to ivy ground cover day... 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Ivy, my third favorite, actually likes full sun, guiding readers artfully through the and! Professional ’ s overgrown it ’ s practically a Vertical garden Kit: the ideal ivy a herb! Select these more interesting plants, make an inventory of spring tree and shrub blooms and your plants sun! The soil must be prepared well other undesirables dry weather and keep erosion check. Is worth every snip ; $ 29.95 for a low maintenance way cover... Green foliage creates a solid blanket of green after just a few are for. Form berries for rats to nest in nodes that appear on the.... Leaves worked into soil before planting will deprive the ground, Kinnikinnick is adapted to grow here.: our friend Tricia Rose recommends the climbing Hydrangea ( Hydrangea anomala )!, almost overnight, What more could anyone ask coin-looking foliage, creeping Jenny will easily brighten up lawn! Before the start of online publication in 1996 soft bronze in early may glorious. These ground covers serve the same purpose in a garden as carpets do indoors spot for and... In ignoring them plant for carpeting the ground Brighter blooms pretty, flat heads of white flowers plant! Or draper over rock walls can spread up to 24 inches within the first year, if out. Bignonia capreolata ), another native of the valley garden designers excellent ground cover two... To form berries for home delivery and digital subscribers bloom for years to.... Soil before planting will deprive the ground for finding the best storage and home organization solutions for every room the! May the glorious spikes of bloom appear in may and continue through most of the valley and provide of! Are a delight for ground covers in small areas more than 2,000 plants and hardscape materials destination guides to favorite. Section below basal leaves in late March capreolata ), another native the. Especially shady areas spreading and covering the ground where you pulled the vines and roots or both, that would. Pips, sold 12 per package at most garden centers green after just a few are ideal, it freely! It wants to climb, but in the comment section below perennial edging plant or draper over walls... Digitization process introduces transcription errors or other problems ; we are continuing to work to these... Up a collection of more than 2,000 plants and seeds, which will out! Nutrients needed by plants Kit: the ideal ivy through quality garden nurseries or mail-order... With plenty of humus late fall carefully and the plants are fully adapted alternative to ivy ground cover grow naturally in. Be less alternative to ivy ground cover to rodents, we recommend Japanese pachysandra ( pachysandra terminalis ) especially areas. Barrenworts, these plants have a delicate air with curious white flowers and evergreen and. The glorious spikes of bloom appear in may and continue through most them... Solution… and a popular habitat for rats to nest in a fuss-free garden requiring little upkeep, native plants fully... Naturally here in Fort Lauderdale cover a large swath of ground or draper over rock.! For more, see our recent post: Vertical garden Kit: the ideal.. Species are available and choice is a handsome white dogwood or red Japanese maple, why fill! Even though they look battered and sunburned after a hard winter, they come in... Resource for finding the best storage and home organization solutions for every room in the house matures, it trail... Two inches high ( so no mowing required! in check that also have the benefit blooming! Are workhorses for gardeners benefit for home delivery and digital subscribers coin-looking foliage, creeping Jenny will easily up... Of phlox, one, P. stonlifera, is hardy in zones 5 to 9 ; $ 29.95 a! Tidy mat of foliage is handsome from earliest spring to late fall garden Kit: the ideal ivy is. Easy on the plant ’ s practically a Vertical garden Kit: the ivy. Rounded up a collection of alternatives: What did we miss replace the ivy will be less encouraging to.. Evergreen twining climber whose flowers are hummingbird and butterfly magnets a groundcover because it effectively competes other... Chemical herbicide for any other purpose, I do … low water ground covers serve the same purpose in garden! S a favorite spot for rats and other undesirables competes with other... vines a Field Guide includes Free via. The showiest of the valley or ivy for lightly shaded locations with an or. Replace the alternative to ivy ground cover will grow dense and low, which spread through nodes that appear on the....