Ground Cover Collection
Upon Arrival: Some Perennials will be shipped to you from our greenhouses. They will be in pots and may have actively growing green leaves. These pots should be immersed in water upon arrival to thoroughly soak the root ball. These growing plants must be hardened off before planting outside. Keep in a cool bright room, and place outside on mild days and gradually leave outside for longer periods of time. After a week or so, or when nighttime temperatures are above freezing, plant outside. If a severe dip in temperature is expected, you may want to place straw or an old blanket over the green leaves to protect them from severe damage. Frost or cold will not permanently hurt the plant, but it may damage the new leaves and set growth back.
Planting Creeping Phlox: Select a location in full sun with a well amended soil that is evenly moist. Make sure there is good air circulation. Prepare the bed by turning the soil under to a depth of 6-12, inches removing any debris, and lightly raking as level as possible. The addition of organic matter (leaf mold, compost, well-rotted manure) benefits all gardens and is essential in recently constructed neighborhoods. Dig a hole deep and wide enough to accommodate the bare root. Set the plant such that the crown is at or just slightly below the ground level. Allow roots to fan out from the crown at around a 45 degree angle. Roots should spread out separately, like stretched fingers, from the crown, and not bunch up. It may be helpful to build a cone-shaped mound of soil in the bottom of the hole and spread the roots around it. It is important to set the roots such that the crown is roughly level with the ground. Cover the roots with soil and tamp down firmly to get rid of air pockets. Fill the soil to just below the crown, where the top growth and leaves will emerge. Make sure all the roots under the crown are in good contact with the soil. Water well to fully saturate the roots and soil. Wait until new growth starts to appear before applying a layer of mulch. Space the roots 1-2 feet apart. Once established, creeping phlox is a drought-tolerant plant that requires supplemental water only during warm, dry weather. A yearly pruning with a weed trimmer or garden clippers keeps phlox looking neat and healthy year after year. Prune after the blooms fade in late spring.
Planting Coral Bells: Space 12-18 inches apart with roots fully covered and crown at soil level. Grow in well-drained soil enriched with organic matter. In areas with hot summers plant in partial shade. In cold climates, mulch after the ground has frozen to control heaving of the roots. Divide in spring when bloom diminishes and crown becomes woody, usually every 4-5 years. Grows from 12-30 inches tall.
Planting Candytuft: Grow in well-drained, alkaline soil in full sun. Plan to shear these plants back by about half right after they are finished flowering in order to promote new growth and a more compact growth habit.