29 December 2006

Creeping Euonymus evergreen groundcover

Wintercreeper euonymus (euonymus fortunei and euonymus alatus) are both green all year round and make great plants for pots, along fences and in beds.

In the summer the leaves are deep green and in the winter the leaf bottoms have a purplish color. The stems of both forms are woody - like a grape vine which makes them easy to prune and shape. I grow a creeping form up a chain link fence beneath tall birdhouses. It has grown fast enough to make a pretty screen over the birdhouse post but not so fast that it has to be trimmed all the time.

It will also form a mat under trees to mulch them, keeping weeds out and cooling the roots.

Both the shrub and creeping form can be used on a hillside for erosion control according to Steve Dobbs in the Oklahoma Gardener's Guide.

Extreme conditions will adversely affect the plant's beauty - some mildew in wet shade, some frozen tips in harsh winter, or scorched leaves in a really hot summer. But, I've been able to trim off damages parts and the plants always bounce back.

Dobbs recommends Euonymus 'Coloratus' for a low growing form with good fall color. He also recommends it as a substitute for a plant Californians love, Asian jasmine. (Jasmine is as easy to grow on the west coast as Creeping Euonymus is to grow here. Jasmine has lovely, sweet smelling flowers but not the beautiful purple-tinged leaves.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Flower seeds can be added to the mix as well and would work well with dwarf zinnias, marigold
and bright pansies ' but what you add it up to you. The three of us, plus
my wife and kids, made the work so much easier and faster. Deciduous trees provide shade during warmer
months, when they are in full bloom, and allow the heat of the sun to your
home during winter months, when they have shed their leaves.


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