Ground cover?

Asked May 8, 2020, 12:07 PM EDT

We have 2 areas where ground cover is an issue -- any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!: 1. we have several slopes in our community -- most of them have trees, nearly all of them are shaded, and some lead down to Spa Creek. Currently the main ground cover is English ivy, which we continually have to pull off the trees where we can reach them. Can you recommend a ground cover that: > will not climb trees > will grow in shade > will hold the hillside securely > will control erosion down into the creek 2. We also have some shady areas (under very tall mostly deciduous trees such as willow oaks with a few white pines) that are relatively flat and that our grounds maintenance company tries every year -- unsuccessfully -- to reseed with grass. Is there a ground cover that: > would grow in these areas > be short enough so that dog owners could still walk their dogs & pick up after them > wouldn't create a haven for rodents & other undesirables

Anne Arundel County Maryland

1 Response

First here is some information on english ivy and management. https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/english-ivy

It is a good idea to plant a variety of plants so you do not lose the stand to an insect or disease issues. Consider blue sedge https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/blue-sedge, creek sedge, golden groundsel, sensitive and christmas ferns, green and gold, bottlebrush grass, woodland sunflower, etc.
Here is our groundcover list. This list also mentions deer resistance if an issue.
https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/groundcover-list
Here is another link for deer resistant native plants. You will have to cross reference for your site conditions.
Also, some shrubs placed on the hillside can also help to manage erosion. Virginia sweetspire (Itea virginiana), summersweet clethra (Clethra alnifolia), and holly (llex opaca 'Maryland Dwarf'. are some options to consider.

Here are some publications that list a variety of groundcover plants that are recommended for partly shaded areas and for managing erosion and water runoff,
https://mda.maryland.gov/resource_conservation/Documents/tip3.pdf
https://www.fws.gov/Chesapeakebay/pdf/NativePlantsforWildlifeHabitatandConservationLandscaping.pdf

Areas under pines - Some suggestions include: native ferns, especially hay scented, Christmas fern and sensitive fern, alleghany pachysandra, Canadian ginger, Pa sedge, and phlox stolonifera. These groundcovers do not tolerate foot traffic.


Marian