Climbing, Creeping and Trailing
Our favorite plants for creating movement in the garden.
The creepers and trailers that are going to be discussed do well in both the
ground and containers. Plant them ideally in the spring when using them in
your gardens, rock gardens and edges of walls. Containers such as
window boxes, hanging baskets and large decorator pots can be planted
any time of the year.
This is an evergreen perennial ground cover that also drapes
beautifully over the edges of containers. It blooms in late spring with
stunning purple flower spikes. There are several varieties, each sporting its
own size and color of foliage. Part shade to part sun and regular watering
make ajuga happiest.
Native to the tropics, this plant works as an annual or
houseplant here. The leaves are simple and green; it’s the blooms that
give it the name for “caterpillar” in French. They are bright red, elongated
and fuzzy! It loves bright light and should be watered before the soil dries
out. The chenille plant grows to about 1 foot wide and 2-3 feet long. Do
What attracts most people to this perennial ground cover
is its bright chartreuse foliage. In the ground, it’s a problem-solver for some
and a headache for others; it’s highly invasive. In containers, it makes a
wonderful contrast to plants with darker foliage. The streamers will grow a
long as you want them to (awesome in window boxes and hanging
baskets). Creeping jenny is a thirsty plant, so don’t let it dry out. It can
grow in any type of light, but the best is part sun.
Creeping Wire Vine
This is a semi-evergreen perennial ground cover that
is quite useful in containers. The wiry vines with small, round, dark green
leaves provide fluff and drape in all types of containers. It’s a fast-grower
that loves full to part sun.
Dichondra Silver Falls
It doesn’t look like it, but this plant does very well
in drought conditions! Silvery-green leaves thrive in full to part sun and
spread quickly. It provides an interesting contrast to darker green foliage
and flowering plants. Dichondra spills beautifully over the edges of window
boxes and pots.
So many varieties, so many uses! Ivy is an evergreen perennial
ground cover that not only fills the shadier parts of your garden with
interest, but it gives your containers the “spiller” they need all year round.
It’s very easy to grow and maintain and comes in solid green, variegated,
tiny bird’s foot and red-stemmed (Algerian ivy).
Also known as “parrot’s beak”, this vine is a pleasant surprise
amongst your other plants. Vines of delicate, silvery-green foliage can
grow to 2 feet long. It blooms with one-inch flowers in hues of orange and
red, which do resemble parrot’s beaks!
More popularly known as Creeping Raspberry, this evergreen
perennial can be used as a very interesting ground cover or as an even
more interesting spiller in your larger containers! A relative of actual
raspberry plants, its leaves and stems are quite prickly. The foliage has a
very unusual shape and when fall is imminent, a lot of the green leaves
begin to turn red.
This plant blooms profusely with trumpet-shaped flowers that
come in shades of pink, purple, yellow, white and many combinations of
those colors. In the ground it will spread and fill in beneath and around
taller plants. In containers, it will spill over and grow in flower-covered
streamers that attract hummingbirds! Regular water and fertilizer will keep
your torenia looking its best.
Vinca Minor and Vinca Major
Perennial favorites (pardon the pun) provide
year round green foliage as a ground cover or in your containers. The
vines will grow as long as you wish. These vinca vines bloom mostly in
spring with small periwinkle-colored flowers (there are some varieties that
bloom white). Vinca minor has tiny, glossy green leaves while vinca major
can be either solid green or with creamy white variegation. Sun or shade, it
Hopefully this will have given you plenty of ideas for your garden,
hanging baskets, window boxes and pots! Whether on their own or as an
accent to other plants, these vines and spreaders are all an excellent
addition to your yard and home.