Mazus Reptans - Perennial Ground Cover For Semi-Shade

 


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Suitable for semi-shade, mazus reptans is a perennial ground cover with light blue flowers which resemble the annual lobelia. The flowers appear en masse in spring through early summer, with sporadic bloom throughout the summer and fall if conditions are right. It likes moisture and protection from the hot sun.

Mazus reptans is hardy from USDA Zones 4 - 10, and is evergreen in mild winter climates. In the mid-west it can remain green until Christmas, if the weather has not been too cold. It is pretty compact, growing less than two inches tall and will spread nicely between stepping stones. It will grow over retaining walls, and overhang them slightly.

Growing fairly fast, mazus reptans will fill in small, shady places fairly quickly. The bright green foliage is very attractive when the plant is not in bloom. It may get ragged looking during hot, dry weather. If in moist, rich soil, it usually weathers the summer better.

Native to the Himalaya mountains and to Austraila, the mat forming plants will perform well in most gardens, though it may be a bit hard to find. There is a white form, mazus japonicus “Albiflorum" which is very similiar in growth.

Propagation of Mazus reptans is easy. Just cut some small plugs from established plantings in early spring or fall, plant them in the desired location, water well and watch them grow. Cuttings may also be taken in summer which will root very quickly and may be planted out in the autumn.

Mazus reptans is an excellent perennial ground cover choice for the shady or semi-shady garden. The blue flowers and bright green foliage are sure to please you as the plant creeps across the garden.

© 2006 Paul Wonning is the owner of Gardens and Nature.com a web site about gardening, hiking and other nature related topics.

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