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Posts Tagged ‘deer proof shade perennials’

Try Carex for a gracefully shaped blue groundcover

Blue Zinger Carex certainly has a subtle zing with its tufted long blue foliage and color that last all season long.

Carex are grasslike plants (called sedges) with mostly evergreen foliage as the main attraction. They are increasingly becoming invaluable plants when it comes to landscape design as their low growing habit & narrow leaves compliment well with bold leaved Shrubs, Hostas and many other plants.

Where most Carex like a moist environment, Blue Zinger Carex thrives in a wide range of soil types and exposures. You got to love blue foliage plants that are easy to grow, add instant color, and spreads (in a moderate fashion), while thriving in a dryer site.   Think about adding a river of blue beneath a  Hedge planting, along a paved walkway, as a “filler” between other plants, or as a  mulch-alternative in sun or shade.

An easy Carex to grow that is both deer proof and drought tolerant. You love the instant color of the groundcover with no wait time.  Blue Zinger grows 8-16″ tall and will spread 12-24″ depending on the site.

Learn more about Carex Blue Zinger

Groundcover Idea Beneath Shallow Rooted Trees


Lily of the Valley or Convallaria majalis

Gardening beneath trees can be challenging if trees are shallow rooted. Sometimes it is a case of futility in trying to get plants to grow.

Trees hog water and soak up nutrients. There are a few plants that do well under these circumstances such as Lily of the Valley groundcover.

Lily of the Vally is a plant for tough spots. Plus, you’ll love the sweet fragrance of the dainty flowers in spring which can be cut and brought indoors.

Lily of the Valley Features

  • Drought Tolerant Groundcover – Thrives under trees and shrubs
  • Moisture loving Groundcover – for planting neardownsputs
  • Deer proof
  • Acid loving – will thrive under pines
  • Spreads rapidly by rhizomes
  • Fragrant blooms in spring
Convallis majlias8

Lily of the Valley cut flowers have a sweet scent!

Lily of the Valley is a wanderer that will spread very fast, so it is best to do a yearly check after flowering and remove unwanted rhizomes that are creeping out of their desired growing area.

Here are a few other plants that grow successfully beneath shallow rooted trees

Here are a few things you should know:

  • It is best to select plants with shallow root systems
  • It is best to dig small planting holes to minimize disturbance to the tree
  • Plants need extra water the first year
  • Remember to mulch 3 inches deep

PLANT FINDER – Find Your Perfect Plant

Find the perfect plants & flowers for your garden

Find Your Perfect Plant!

With Plant Finder Guide, you can find your perfect plants & flowers for your garden.  Search by height, size, sun/shade needs, plant type, flower color, hardiness – all within a few clicks of a mouse.

At we are here to help you with your garden plant needs!  Find your favorite sun perennials,  shade perennials, shrubs, Hydrangeas, ground covers and so much more for your garden!

CLICK HERE to start using the Plant Finder.


Blue Star Creeper – Try this easy groundcover for a no mow lawn

  • Lawn alternative!

    Isotoma or Blue Star  - you can walk on it without leaving a flattened trail!

    Isotoma or Blue Star – you can walk on it without leaving a flattened trail!

  • Rugged as grass!
  • Takes foot traffic!
  • Let it roam where you want it!

If you are looking for a low maintenance replacement for lawn or pathway, then Blue Star Creeper (Isotoma) is for you!!

Low growing mats that fill in fast. You can walk on it without leaving a flattened trail!  This alone makes it a reliable alternative to turf grass.

Top Seller!  Baby star like sky blue flowers nestle on top of a walk able bed of small green foliage.  Blooms last all season long!! This is a true perennial, hardy to Zone 5.   Great for transitional areas as it grows in sun and part shade.  Evergreen in the south.

Isotoma creates a sea of dainty sky blue flowers that last all season long

Isotoma creates a sea of dainty sky blue flowers that last all season long. Chris in the greenhouse with our Jumbo 1 qt pots

This ground cover can take some dampness and is not as drought tolerant as other ground covers.  Needs more shade in hot areas .

Use Isotoma as a lawn substitute, around pools, pavers, edging and pots. If you plant it near grass, it wills start to blend in.

You’ll love Blue Star Creeper as a quick fill,  low maintenance, easy to grow groundcover.  Available as a Jumbo 1 qt pot from


Hellebore-Great Groundcover for Dry Shade

Hellebore is a drought & deer proof groundcover for the shade perennial garden

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.

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