Ground covers to plant under a Japanese maple

Acer japonicum stanhope
The most popular Internet plant  site  answered:
Sweet woodruff  (an invasive weed) Pachysandra  (boring and a snail magnet)
Leadwort (Ceratostigma plumbaginoides) A very hungry competitor.
Some even suggested a small leafed ivy or Vinca Minor. I disagree most strongly on a multitude of issues..

Dwarf beach strawberry. Frageria chiloense  (might attract root weevils) Spreads. (MORE NATIVES)

Oxalis oregana Redwood Sorrel
 Oxalis oregana  Redwood Sorrel (By itself!)
Cornus canadensis, along with the native Trillium, Trillium ovatum and pink fawn lily, Erythronium revolutum. A nice spring show before the maple leafs out. After the fawn lilies and trillium are done, do.annuals
??? or nothing. Erythronium montanum ( white avalanche lily) or E. grandiflorum (Yellow)
Spring bulbs such as Anenome blanda with specie tulip Praestens  fuselier or early specie daffodils, followed by ??? (Nothing!)
Corydalis f. Blue Heron
Corydalis flexulosa (blue flowered) On and off flowering. C. flex ‘Blue Heron’ or ‘Pere David’ Fritillaria meleagris could be thrown in for interest. Cyclamen hederifolium, C. coum, C. pseudibericum, and snowdrops.
Anemone nemerosa flore pleno

Anemone nemerosa flore pleno

Anemone nemerosa blue

Anemone nemerosa blue

Anemone nemerosa bracteata flore pleno

Anemone nemerosa bracteata flore pleno

Isotoma Blue Star Creeper
Blue Spruce Sedum as well as many other ground cover Sedum.
Liriope or Black Mondo Grass with crocus.
Minimalist – *Bark mulch*

My preferences are in bold and I have stuck to the spring bulbs that will die back to the mulch – which come fall will make the necessary rake cleanup a breeze. Japanese Maples need some dormant spraying and leaf cleanup is important for the health of the plant.  Having sedums or liriops, mondo grass prevent this. Much less the aggressive vinca or ivy which can actually grow up the trunk.

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Ground covers to plant under a Japanese maple — 2 Comments

  1. Hello,
    I have a Japanese Maple Tree that is young and am thinking about planting Lamium Maculatum (Spotted Dead Nettle Orchid Frost) underneath this tree as ground cover. It is part sun/part shade. I know Sedums are mostly recommended but am hoping Lamium could also work?
    Thank you,
    Bethany Henrichs

    • I would avoid dead nettle as it will become an invasive weed. There are many better solutions. Dwarf mondo grass, even the dwarf green form and their are many other choices. Cyclamen couem would be nice as a bulb.

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