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Question: 364-0105
My front yard has too much shade for grass to grow. I have used different seeds. Is there any ground cover that looks okay and can grow in shade? Dennis, Taylorville, IL

Mort's Answer:
Lily of the Valley has a sweet scented white flower in spring. Vinca minor or periwinkle has a blue flower in the summertime. Sedum spurium is evergreen and grows well in sandy and well drained soil. Hedera helix is evergreen and will grow well in shade. This English ivy also grows in sun or partial shade. Variegated forms like white and gold margined are best suited for partial shade. Dwarf form woodland ferns like Anthyrium nipponicum pictum can be mixed with ivies, periwinkle and most other vine covers. Euonymous radicans minimus will stay green through the winter. It also has white and yellow margined varieties. Pachysandra, ajuga and ground hemlock do well in partial shade.

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Question: 418-3410
Can you recommend a ground cover for a deep slope in the shade? Charlie, Westerly, RI

Mort's Answer:
Ivy will grow perpendicular to the ground. If you have a slope that is less than 30 degrees, you can use pachysandra with a white flower or use the blue flowered myrtle. Plant them about eight inches to a foot apart. You could fill in the spaces with petunias or some other low annuals for the first two years.

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