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Archive for March, 2013

Hardy Ice Plant – Drought Proof Groundcover Growing Tips

Hardy Ice Plant is thriving in gravelly soil with good drainage near a road (Zone 5) This planting has been here for over 5 years.

Hardy Ice Plant has been thriving here for 5 years (Zone 5). It has super good drainage and gravelly soil

Delosperma is a tough drought proof groundcover for hot, dry places like curbs and driveways.  Hardy Ice Plant is low growing with green succulent foliage and stunning flowers that bloom non-stop all summer long while thriving in heat, humidity and little water.

Given the right spot and growing conditions, it will bloom most of the summer and thrive in your garden.

I hear a lot of feedback from gardeners that have difficult growing and/or overwintering Delosperma.  This beautiful ground cover is very, VERY  fussy about drainage.  If you don’t have SUPER sharp drainage, you should probably opt for growing  Sedum or SedumSod – an instant colorful groundcover.

If I were to grow in containers, I would add gravel or cactus to sharpen the drainage in the soil.

Delosperma is ideal for strips along a driveway (where it is often more gravelly) or rock garden.   Right plant – right place as the saying goes.

CLICK HERE – for more information

Sedum Garden Design -Plant and Forget Groundcover Solution

Drought proof Sedums need no maintenance but will remain colorful throughout the season

Sedums are one of the best groundcovers for sunny spots.  If you want to know how I spell easy gardening it is – SEDUM!

Sedums are long lived, require no maintenance, are easy to grow, have excellent drought tolerance and come in a wide variety of foliage and flower colors.

I love this picture sent in from my friend Bill from Saint Louis.  This planting located near a post office consists of a variety of colorful low growing sedums.  Brick always reflects heat back up towards plant which just seems to make these tough as nails drought proof groundcover even prettier!

Sedums are probably one of the BEST problem solving plants for tough spots where other plants fail to grow – even on hillsides and banks.   The only thing they need is good drainage.

Here are the varieties I would combine to achieve a similar foliage effect:

Voodoo  (red)
Angelina (yellow)
Blue Spruce  or cauticoloa (Blue)
Ellacombianum (green)

For even a quicker solution – try SedumSod – an easy mat that installs in seconds!

Here’s to easy gardening!  For more  on Sedums visit

Tough Groundcover – Plumbago

Plumbago is a moderate spreader and keeps it tidy good looks throughout the gardening season.

A real dependable “tough it out” ground cover is Plumbago (Ceratostigma plumbaginoides).  Yes it is a mouthful – but oh what an underutilized ground cover for sun to partly shaded areas (or those transitional areas) that is worth growing in your garden.

If you are looking for a  moderate spreader that gives you light glossy foliage that looks nice and tidy throughout the growing season (and helps suppress the weeds) Plumbago is definitely a groundcover to consider looking charming beneath shrubs or as an edging plant.

Great Fall Color!

I really like blue flowers which appear in mid summer just when you need a pop of color for the garden.   You’ll get some nice fall color too when the foliage turns to a red coppery bronze color.  Give it good drainage, and let it do its thing as it thrives on neglect.

Be patient in spring. Plumbago breaks dormancy later that most plants.

  • Botanical:  Ceratostigma plumbaginoides
  • Common: Plumbago
  • USDA – Zone 5-8
  • Light:  Full sun to part shade.  Shade in hot afternoon.
  • Size:  6-12 inches tall
  • Spread:  Moderate spread by rhizomes 1-2 feet wide
  • Features: Tolerate clay, sand, drought, part shade, sun,  deer,
  • Uses:  Undemanding groundcover

Plants That Can Take Foot Traffic

Durable plants for Foot Traffic, Crevices, Nooks, Pathways & More

For those tough areas between flagstones, there are a select group of perennial ground cover plants that work well for these  areas while discouraging weeds. Make sure to select the right plant for light & water requirements.  Here are a few plants to consider that will tolerate various degrees of foot traffic and work well in crevices, nooks, pathways & more while adding beauty to your garden.

Ajuga can take foot traffic while spreading between stepping stones

Ajuga can take foot traffic while spreading between stepping stones

Ajuga Black Scallop or Ajuga Chocolate Chip Bugleweed or Ajuga is an evergreen ground cover with blue flowers in spring

Great for: Sun or Shade, beneath trees, lawn substitute, pathways, nooks, accents, containers.

Tolerates:  Dry Shade, Moist Shade

Anacyclus depressusMt. Atlas Daisy with attractive fern like foliage

Great for:  Sun,Dry, gritty areas, hot pathways, Rock Gardens, Edging, Small Spaces

Tolerates:  Deer, Drought, Heat

Isotoma fluviatilisBlue Star Creeper – Blooms all Summer Long – #1

Great for: Sun or Shade, Lawn substitute, Stepping Stones, Ponds, Patios, Containers, Crevices, Rock Garden, pathways

Tolerates: Deer, Drought, Rabbits, Pests


Lysimachia or Creeping Jenny

Lysimachia AureaCreeping Jenny (Evergreen)– super fast spreading, root at each node and hug the ground

Great for: Shade, Retaining walls, crevices, dry shade, moist shade, woodland area, accent, containers, lawn substitute

Tolerates: Moisture

Mazus reptansLow growing, fast spreading groundcover

Great for: Sun-Part Shade, Beneath shrubs, stones, small scale lawn substitute, patios, curbside

Tolerates: Moisture

Sagina subulata and Sagina subulata Aurea

Great for: Shade-Part Shade, Moist, well drained areas, Woodland Areas, Containers

Tolerates: Moist Shade

SedumSod™Easy, INSTANT groundcover!

SedumSod provides INSTANT RESULTS !  One of the best drought proof plants on the market today!

Great for: Sun-Part Shade, Lawn Substitute, flagstones, pavers, Patio, Slopes, DIY projects

Tolerates: Drought, Heat

Thymus woolylow growing evergreen with silver foliage

Great for: Sun, Crevices, retaining walls, rock garden, curbside, Slopes, Pathways, Patio, Lawn substitute, containers

Tolerates:  Drought

Veronica Waterperry Blue low growing and fast spreader

Great for:  Sun, Part Shade, Beneath Trees, Shrubs, slopes, retaining walls, rock garden, containers,

Tolerates:  Drought, Dry Shade

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