Should I remove mulch from ground covers?

Asked October 29, 2015, 10:24 PM EDT

We are planting vinca minor on a hill behind our house to control erosion. We have pine straw covering the hill and are planting in stages as it is a large area. Do we remove the pine straw from the newly planted areas or keep it there? I thought maybe the vinca needs to touch bare soil to put down its roots but we also don't want to see increased erosion or weeds in those areas.
Thanks for your help!

Greenville County South Carolina mulch horticulture vinca minor

1 Response

Thank you for your question!

I recommend leaving the pine straw mulch in place and planting the vinca into the mulch. This will give erosion and weed control on the hillside while your vinca is getting established. As the vinca plants grow and the pine straw decomposes, the vinca will find plenty of opportunities to root down.
Once the vinca has become established, be careful to only mulch areas between where the vinca plants are growing. Vinca minor, in particular, doesn't seem to respond well to having mulch piled on it.
Please refer to our fact sheet about vinca, also known as periwinkle, for more information: http://www.clemson.edu/extension/hgic/plants/landscape/groundcovers/hgic1112.html.