Posts Tagged ‘Deer Proof Plants’
Looking for an easy garden design idea that will add some impact to your perennial garden? I love using Festuca Boulder Blue for a number of reasons. This sun loving ornamental grass is easy to grow, looks great throughout the year and thrives in sun, high heat & humidity in well drained soil. Hardy from Zones 4-9. I believe it is one of of the best drought proof sun loving perennial groundcovers out there.
Add Color & Texture
Have some unpleasant spots in your garden? The handsome mound shape and narrow blue foliage make be just the ticket as it adds season long color & texture.
Break Up Competing Colors
If you have two strong competing colors that are just rubbing you the wrong way try planting a group of this soothing blue Festuca between them. Festuca is the ideal perennial to help break up strong competing colors in the garden
Small Space Gardening
Festuca grows 12”x12” so it tucks ever so nicely along narrow pathways, beneath shrubs or edging a perennial border.
Plant in Groups
If you really want to add impact, plant in groupings of 5 or more.
Some of the most beautiful gardens do a great job in repeating similar plants in adjacent areas. This frequently leads to a more harmonious flow in the garden.
Care & Growing Tips
- Add sand to heavier soils.
- Allow plants to dry out between watering.
- In the spring, use a sheers to prune away any dead foliage from winter
- Fertilize in the spring with Osmocote or a balanced granular fertilizer
Where to Buy Festuca Boulder Blue – www.GreatGardenPlants.com
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.
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
Have you ever noticed how poorly some plants do beneath trees and tall shrubs? Tree roots can easily zap away moisture and nutrients leaving anything under planted looking weary & tired.
Rather than fight with it, select from a group of care-free plants that can take dry shade conditions and have minimal requirements when it comes to nutrients & moisture.
I particularly love Hellebores for this. When I planted seven of these early spring flowering ground covers last fall I thought I’m not sure if they are all going to make it. I dug pretty hard to get in between a few tree roots and there wasn’t a lot of soil for me to work with. I added some topsoil, mulched and watered well and to my amazement they all made it through next spring.
I do like planting spring flowering plants such as Hellebore in the fall. Plants still grow in the fall because soil temperature and moisture levels are usually at a level that promotes rapid root growth needed to sustain plants through the first critical year in the landscape. So by spring I’ll have larger more established plants and more blooms to enjoy that first year.
Hellebores is a terrific solution if you have dry shade in your perennial garden. In addition to the beautiful spring flowers, hellebore is the perfect deer resistant shade plant with evergreen foliage which provides year round interest.
Need a fast spreading drought proof groundcover that will grow beneath trees?
Ajuga or Bugleweed is easy to grow and virtually maintenance free perennial groundcover for hard to grow places. I’m particularly fond of Chocolate Chip Ajuga (‘Valfredda’) where it can easily cover an 18” area in just one season. It is one of my favorite ground covers beneath trees where other groundcover struggle and it looks great year-round!
Ajuga is a deer proof evergreen groundcover with vibrant foliage and showy purple flowers in spring. Low growing mats are only 3” tall. Hardy to Zone 4-9, It thrives in both sun and shade.
Growing anything under trees can be difficult. First of all, trees create a “rain shadow” where it is always drier beneath a tree. Secondly, some trees such as maples, poplars and willow have heavy feeder roots that rest near the surface, making it virtually impossible to grow, let alone even dig a hole for planting.
Ajuga is ideal with its shallow roots that grow within just a few inches of the ground. It competes effectively between tree roots and drier conditions while spreading quickly by way of runners. Runners are easily removed if it gets beyond its bounds.
Ajuga is not a groundcover for everybody or to be placed in a mixed perennial border.
Ajuga is one of the best groundcovers for weed control. Weeds find it tough to sprout through their thick root system.
- Avoid “Ajuga lawn” by planting away from turf or you’ll have a co-mingling of lawn & Ajuga.
- Don’t plant anything nearby unless you are using beneath shrubs or trees.
- Thick root system makes Ajuga ideal for erosion control
- Ideal between pavers
- Excellent for large areas where you want to have a quick spread
- Ideal under shallow rooted trees where nothing else will grow
Feather Reed Grass or Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’ is definitely one of my favorite ornamental grasses to use as a privacy screen, low growing hedge or to add vertical height to the perennial garden.
This non-flopping, sun-loving vertical grass is a delightful accent that is both easy to grow and easy to maintain. The slightest breeze sets this grass in motion.
Professional landscapers and garden designers love using Calamagrostis for creating a fast developing screen or Hedge Plant.
Calamagrostis will add height while create a focal point or accent in the sun loving perennial garden.
Facts about Calamagrostis Karl Foerster:
- Grows up to 60” (in flower)
- Tolerates a wide range of soil from clay to dry sand
- Blooms early in the season (most grasses bloom late)
- Drought Tolerant once established
- Deer Proof
- Winter Interest
- Salt Tolerant
- Low maintenance
- Landscape appeal from summer thru winter.
- Long lasting cut flowers
- Virtually pest free
The only thing I do in the spring is cut back the stems to about 6 inches from the ground in late winter or early spring.
If you are looking for a an easy perennial to grow and maintain, this ornamental grass might be just the ticket.