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Quick Digs: Zone 5-9 Groundcover Gardens for Damp Conditions

Quick Digs: Zone 5-9 Groundcover Gardens for Damp Conditions
Category: Quick Digs

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Synopsis: Quick Digs is a new serial containing short posts focused on a central issue. The topic for the first series is Salvia groundcovers for weed control, and this is the third article. If you are a Salvia lover facing the difficult scenario of cold winters and damp soil, the sages listed here are right for winter conditions from USDA Zone 5 to 9. All are water-loving, shade-tolerant species and have handsome foliage that adds to landscaping even when the plants aren't blooming. By massing these plants, you gain coverage more rapidly and increase weed deterrence.
Quick Digs is a new serial containing short posts focused on a central issue. The topic for the first series is Salvia groundcovers for weed control, and this is the third article. 

If you are a Salvia lover facing the difficult scenario of cold winters and damp soil, the sages listed here are right for winter conditions from USDA Zone 5 to 9. All are water-loving, shade-tolerant species and have handsome foliage that adds to landscaping even when the plants aren't blooming.

The Makino and Shinano-akigirl species are Asian woodland plants, so err on the side of partial shade. If you include Stem Clasping Violet Sage, a location with morning sun and afternoon shade would be optimal for all.

By massing these plants, you gain coverage more rapidly and increase weed deterrence. Arranging the groundcovers around and among multiples of the taller border plant is another good weedbusting strategy. However, remember that all sages like good air circulation, so don't crowd them too much.

Groundcover or Front of Border
Shinano-akigirl (Salvia koyamae) Zones 4 to 9.

  • Yellow flowers bloom in fall
  • 24 to 30 inches tall, 24 inches wide
  • Partial to full shade
  • Deer resistant

Makino (Salvia glabrescens) Zones 5 to 9.
Three varieties:

  • Yellow & Purple -- Pale yellow flowers with purple markings, 12 to 18 inches tall and 18 inches wide
  • Momobana -- Bicolored pale to hot pink, 12 to 18 inches tall and 18 inches wide
  • Shi Ho -- purple and lavender flowers, 24 to 30 inches tall and 18 inches wide
  • All need partial to full shade
  • Deer resistant

Border
Stem Clasping Violet Sage (Salvia amplexicaulis) Zones 5 to 9.

  • Violet flowers with burgundy bracts flower in summer
  • 30 to 48 inches tall, 36 inches wide
  • Full sun to partial shade
  • Attracts butterflies
  • Deer resistant

Fall is one of the best times of year for planting perennials, including Salvias. Please contact us with any questions or requests you may have; we’re always glad to help.