Prunella vulgaris (Common Self Heal) With Hostas and Ferns
We have a small grove (approx. 1,600 square feet) of Western Red Cedars that we recently removed all of the ground covering ivy, poison oak, blackberries and nettles from. The area also has several sword ferns and hostas.
The Prunella REALLY wants to take over the open ground. I am fine with that, and containing it at the boundaries. My question is whether it will work well with the ferns and hostas or will it choke them out. As the ferns and hostas are in the 2-2.5 foot tall range, if the Prunella stays closer to 1 foot tall, it may give us the sort of natural soft, shady look we are hoping for... If they will play well together.
Also, how well will the Prunella do at blocking errant dandylions, grass and the other stuff we cleared out?
Thanks in advance!
Clackamas County Oregon
Thank you for the reply, Jacki.
The idea of mulching around the Hostas is to provide a space buffer is good. Perhaps also for making access paths through the grove.
Fortunately, we are on our own high volume well, and have a good water table, so we actively water everything through the summer months. It helps keep things green, helps with fire hazard reduction, and ultimately, goes right back into our the same ground water source we draw it from. We use wide area impact sprinklers for several hours each week.
We had intended to use Vinca to replace the ivy ground layer that the previous owner had allowed to run rampant, including climbing into the Cedars. We have removed all of it on the ground, and most of what was climbing the trees, but it's an ongoing challenge. So too are the poison oak, blackberries and nettles, which we work are by hand and with spot spraying.
There is a lot of bare soil that needs to be covered, and the Prunella seems to be overtaking the Vinca 2-to-1, even though we have not planted any Prunella. So, I'm starting to think we should go with what seems to be winning the race.
Any other thoughts are welcome!