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Flowering Ground Cover for Full Sun

Flowering Ground Cover for Full Sun

Gardeners have an often repeated mantra: right plant, right place. In other words, a plant that’s perfect for one area or situation might be a problem in another location. I was thinking about this recently when I saw some beautiful pots of  Zagreb coreopsis arrive in the perennial section. This plant, Coreopsis verticillata ‘Zagreb,’ is a hardy perennial (zones 3 to 9) that grows about 18 inches high. Because it spreads by rhizomes, it forms a thick, ever-widening clump. This might be a problem if you place this plant in a mixed perennial border, because you’d continually need to be editing it out. But this spreading and tight, weed smothering growth is just what you want for a ground cover.

Zagreb coreopsis does best in full sun and it doesn’t mind dry soils, making it one of the best ground covers for a sunny slope. I have this perennial growing in my dry garden out near the road. It is covered with bright yellow flowers in late June on Cape Cod – if you shear it in half after it finishes flowering the plant will thicken up and might produce some new blossoms. But if you leave it the black seed heads are attractive in themselves.

This is a butterfly, bee and bird plant. Be sure not to place this in wet areas and don’t give it much (if any) fertilizer. While many varieties of threadleaf coreopsis are short-lived, Zagreb is strong and reliably comes back even after cold winters.

I planted three Zagreb coreopsis in this dry garden by the road six years ago and now an area that is about seven feet by seven feet is pretty well covered!

I planted three Zagreb coreopsis in this dry garden by the road six years ago and now an area that is about seven feet by seven feet is pretty well covered!

1 Comment

  1. Roger McCarthy on June 26, 2014 at 10:33 pm

    Very interesting information. Thank you

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