If you’re looking for a low-maintenance groundcover that also flowers, look no further than creeping lilyturf. This tough perennial has thick, blade-like foliage and forms attractive clumps. In this article, I’ll share more details about creeping lilyturf, along with how easy it is to grow and care for.
Meet Liriope spicata
Known botanically as Liriope spicata, other common names for creeping lilyturf include creeping liriope and monkey grass. The thick, dark green leaves are grass-like, and the plants grow in clumps much like a grass, but lilyturf is not a true grass. It spreads quickly, thrives even in less-than-ideal conditions, and is a tough ground cover. Creeping lilyturf produces erect flower spikes of purple blooms that are followed by a blue-black berry. The plants reach approximately 10 inches tall.
Traits that make creeping lilyturf a great groundcover
There are several traits of creeping lilyturf that make it an ideal choice for ground cover beds, un-mowable slopes, and areas around shallow-rooted trees where little else will grow.
Creeping lilyturf is:
Evergreen (or semi-evergreen, depending on your climate)
Tolerant of road salt spray
Unaffected by disease
Spreading via underground rhizomes, creeping lilyturf plants quickly grow together to form a mat. It’s a great choice for erosion control on slopes or sites where washout regularly occurs.
Where to plant creeping lilyturf
Liriope spicata is native to Asia and exhibits hardiness between USDA zone 4 and 10, meaning it survives winter temperatures down to -30°F. The ideal site has well-drained soil, though just about any soil type will be tolerated. Preferred sun levels are anything
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The ultimate height of Oxypetalum – my garden, at least-is from a foot and a half to two feet. Although described as of trailing or twining habit, my plants have grown upright, with neat stiff stems that need no support. When broken, they exude the milky juice characteristic of the family, and the long pointed seed pods, filled with silken down, are also typical. The foliage is soft grayish-green and of velvety texture. The flowers are star-shaped, an inch or more across, growing in flat clusters over the top of the plant. They last for several days, even under the hottest sun, and are the only flowers I have ever seen which can be truthfully and accurately described as of the purest turquoise blue. This exquisite color is retained until just before the blossoms fade when they change to a pretty mauve.
A group of tender perennial plants, only one of which is commonly grown. This is Strelitzia Reginae, which has large ornamental leaves on long strong petioles (leafstalks), and bears brilliant orange and purple flowers, several together within a large bract, on stems 3 ft. or more high in spring. It is a native of South Africa and belongs to the Banana family, Musaceae. The name commemorates Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz.
If you are a little sad because the rooms in your house are dark, and it prevents you from enjoying a sight of some beautiful flowers, well, it’s time to smile! The plants on this list will be more than happy to bloom in low lit spaces!
In many places in the United States columbines (Aquilegia ssp.) still grow wild. Highbrow hybrids dominate the marketplace, but even they seem to retain some of that wildness. While cleaning out an overgrown greenhouse once, I noticed columbines of indeterminate variety growing up through the cracks between the slate floor’s slabs. In my own garden they tend to self-seed, coming up everywhere but where I intend them to be. They are much like cats, domesticated to a point, but still inclined to go their own way.
An old Latin name for violet (Violaceae). A genus of some 500 species of hardy perennials, mainly from northern temperate regions, including violas, pansies, and violets, of which there are many hybrids and strains.
Although insect pests and plant diseases are generally easy to control in the flower garden, animal pests are not. For one, much of our wildlife is protected by law and can’t be indiscriminately eliminated. You may have variable success with repellents, depending on your location or timing. If the animals are not very hungry or population pressures are not too great, repellents may be enough to discourage invaders. But then again, there’s no guarantee that they’ll work.
Sooner or later, every gardener falls in love with a few select perennials. Perennials are flowering plants that live many years, but die back during their dormant season which is usually winter. When planted under the right conditions, perennials grow and prosper for years, often with little attention. Each perennial has a peak season of bloom, usually lasting from one to three months. After the blooms fade, the foliage remains so the plant can renew its energy stores for repeating the show again next year. The tops of most perennials are killed back by frost, but they do return in the spring.
True blue flowers are hard to find in many gardens although Purple, Lavender, Lilac, Mauve and Violet exist in many shades. Since there are no true blue Roses, Peonies, Dahlias, Daffodils or even Tulips these showy flowers are out. So if you find a good strong blue then stick to it and use it with great abandon.
While gardeners often extol the virtues of outstanding bark and winter interest, let’s not kid ourselves—flower power reigns supreme. A tree that is a stately focal point most of the year will be transformed into an awe-inspiring centerpiece by spectacular blooms. Spring-flowering trees often occupy prime garden real estate, but for some easy, unexpected floral elegance, it is truly worthwhile to plant trees that bloom in summer, fall, or even late winter. Many of my favorites even have dazzling displays when they aren’t in bloom. Here are some excellent choices for you to consider.
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